Monday, 6 March 2017

Introducing... Cruel Wonders

Name of band: Cruel Wonders
Members: Vlad Shusterman and Tamar Singer
Year formed: 2012
Location: Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, Israel

“Our visual aesthetic is very much in vein with the Art Noveau and Victorian decadence. We're both film school graduates, so visuals are an important part of our project.”

Four years in making and having shared stage with such heavyweights as ROME and Spiritual Front, Cruel Wonders' debut sets classical poetry (ranging from Shakespeare to Russian Symbolists) to sparse, doom-laden neofolk for the post-metal age. The duo's sound is rooted in Singer's haunting vocals and hearty strumming, while Shusterman's mesmerized riffs and cavernous electronics evoke equal parts darkwave lull and doom metal menace.

Intravenous Magazine: Who are you and how did the band/project come to be formed?

We are Vlad Shusterman and Tamar Singer, longtime friends who just started jamming one day with a couple of guitars and some tomes of poetry for ready-made lyrics. Vlad is a quite known producer actually (his post-rock/electronica project Ghost Bike is signed to n5MD and been making waves since 2010), while Tamar is a professional filmmaker (Cannes festival nominee), a musical latebloomer who started playing and singing at the age of 30. So, we came up with a few memorable songs and decided to make a record.

IVM: How would you describe your sound/style, and how did you arrive at it?

Female-fronted neofolk with a healthy dose of doom and darkwave influence. In a tag - folk noir, probably. Our music is definitely guitar-based, but we try to spice things up with cinematic percussion, processed samples, various noises - whatever works for the atmosphere.

IVM: Who and what are your primary influences both musical and non-musical?

We're both huge fans of left-of-field metal and dark folk, obviously. Tamar is into lots of acoustic and proggy stuff, Vlad is big on ambient, drone and industrial. Our visual aesthetic is very much in vein with the Art Noveau and Victorian decadence. We're both film school graduates, so visuals are an important part of our project.

IVM: Do you perform live and if so where can we see you perform in the near future?

Our live performances are quite rare, since there is regrettably not much interest for dark folk here in Israel. We're still somewhat of a household name in the genre, locally, so when big name acts from abroad come to play here we're usually called upon as the opening act.

IVM: What is your current release and where is it available from?

We are releasing our debut album Gentle Doom (named after a line from a Shakespeare sonnet) on the 10th of March through Bandcamp. There are nine songs with lyrics by classical poets, book-ended by two ambient interludes. It can be streamed and pre-ordered on a pay-what-you-want basis at

IVM: What have been the highlights of your career so far?

Opening for ROME and Spiritual Front, two famed acts we deeply admire.

IVM: What are your plans fro the future?

Making another record we're proud of, hopefully.

IVM: Finally, is there anything that you would like to add?

Just that we've been enjoying your zine. Keep up the great work!


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