Biography

1989-1992
The band started long before 1989. When Urakoff  and I were children we used to go for a walk along the district and looked at adult metalheads. The district fought against the district then, and we were fortunate because our district was inhabited by people who listened to Metal. We were surrounded by districts inhabited by young workers who listened to pub music (at the best).

Playing metal was not just comme il faut, it was our duty, and I am not exaggerating if I say that we could not imagine our future without being rock musicians. It was the end of the 80’s and Metal was perceived as a rebel weapon. Adults were afraid of us and we were representatives of the informal group. We were looking at dying Soviet fire and dreamt of bright tomorrow, though in our interpretation it took strange shapes.

In 1989, Urakoff and I came to the conclusion that it is time to create a band. At first it was called  RANGER. We positioned ourselves as the fastest thrash metal band in Belarus. Besides us there were our neighbors of the district in the team. However, only few of them connected their lives with music in the future and not for long.

At that stage we were already strong band with a few concerts on our active. Unfortunately, we were not always able to play our own songs, we had to perform some sort of conventional bullshit, but our persistence made ​​us the real inhabitants of the underground of Soviet era.

When the USSR collapsed, nothing changed. But we did not notice the outside world. New line-up started to form. New people joined us in various ways.

For example, I and Sivtsoff fled together from the attack of young workers after an epic concert at the University. By the way, this show was even recorded on tape, (the name of this record is “Some fuckin 'live else”) and for some time it was the only record of our Thrash Metal incarnation. Unfortunately, this record is lost now.

I met Saltsevich at the meeting of people listening to radio broadcasts of Seva Novgorodtsev (NORIS) in St. Petersburg. We did not have a drummer, and he, arrived in Gomel as a traveler, stayed with us forever. By the way, the funny things always happened with him – even when he was carrying his drums to Gomel, instead of Kalinkovichi (Gomel region) he came to Klimovichi (Mogilev region). These cities are located in different parts of the country. There were no mobile phones at that years, and he had to make a serious effort to get to the final destination alone in the foreign country.

1992

So, in the summer of 1992, our gold line-up was almost fully assembled: Alexander Urakoff – guitar, Lesley Knife – vocals, Yuri Sivtsoff – bass, Wladislaw Saltsevich – drums. In August, our debut demo “Demolition Tape” was recorded. At that time, the band was called Chemical Warfare for two years already. Our music can be described as Death / Thrash Metal. The final song from that demo with some bias into Gothic Doom named “Inis Afalon” was the herald of a new direction in our music.

1993-1994

We realized that it was time to change the name. There were plenty of variants. But the final version was invented by me and Sivtsov. I saw a picture of WhiteTower on the wall in my institution (WhiteTower is an architectural monument of Belarusian Middle Ages), but the epithet “white” didn’t seem appropriate enough. We needed an alternative and a better version was proposed by Sivtsov – GODSTOWER.

We decided to diversify the music with keyboards sound. At first the future wife of Saltsevich – Irina Lozovskaya – played this instrument. In this line-up, we started working  at a new program called "The Eerie". The new demo was ready in the late spring of 1993. It was pagan gothic doom Metal with basic elements of the ancient folklore. The main theme of the songs had already been a war through the perception of the pagan worldview. With this record the band signed a contract for recording of the single and two full-length albums with the Moscow label Final Holocaust Records in the summer of 1993. In September, two songs for “Beyond Praying” single were recorded at Moscow TEF Studio. However, this single wasn’t released because of the collapse of Final Holocaust Records and the loss of the master tapes.

We arrived in Moscow being not rich people. Different things happened those days. Sivtsov and Saltsevich even unloaded some vegetables once just to make some money to have a snack. I and Urakoff listened to THE DOORS and drank everything we could only not to notice the world around. Well, for some time it worked.

Then we played a series of gigs in Belarus, along with IRON STREAM, THRASHER, CORPSE NECROK.ILLDOZER, PATHOLOGIST DEPARTMENT, KRABATHOR, CRUNCH and others. In those days, concerts were completely different than now. Each concert was an event; all local Metal youth came to the show. Everything was based on pure enthusiasm, no one knew what it would develop into in the future.

In the summer of 1994 the second guitarist Alexander Eristov came into the band. Eristov was a unique person, indeed. He had his own band – MONASTICON; they played in flared trousers and were the first in Belarus representatives of Stoner Metal. I sang a few gigs along with them and it was something really fantastic. But Eristov felt himself uncomfortable with GODSTOWER. We rehearsed a lot and set ambitious goals to ourselves, but he just preferred music as a soundtrack to life, even if it was the music of his own composition. He died a year later after the death of Urakoff. With a week difference. Almost with the same diagnosis.

At the same period, the material for the clip to the song "Beyond Praying" was filmed. However, due to the loss of the original recording of the song, the sound track had to be rewritten.

By the summer of 1994, we had accumulated several experimental records, and we decided to combine them into a single unit – so thereby "Canticles" was born. Here we turned to psychedelic and pagan ritual music. After the release of this demo for the first time we went abroad. We played in the Czech Republic, along with PURGATORY, DESULTORY, SAMAEL and CANNIBAL CORPSE. This trip played a major role in our lives – people began to pay attention to us after it. At that time it was important whom you played with, and there were only few post-Soviet bands that shared stage with worldwide famous names.

1995

Until the summer of 1995, we were able to appear at the Belarusian TV, to give a series of concerts in the Ukraine and at home, and continued to work on new material. The line-up had some changes — we got a permanent keyboard player Dmitry Ovchinnikov, and Alexander Eristov was dismissed. By the way, Ovchinnikov started his career as a keyboard player in MONASTICON, together with Eristov. Dmitry looked very young then, and I could not imagine what role he would play in the band in the future.

We were the first members of the underground who began paying so much attention to the organization of concerts. However, it was possible due to Lapitsky. From CHEMICAL WARFARE times our communication took businesslike cooperation and after our first concert in Mogilev in 1993, in fact, all our progress was his service. While he was engaged in the paper work, we had a chance to make music. He set all the contacts. He promoted us, in modern terms.

Meantime we were able to transform ourselves into something new of “The Turns” times. And in the fall of 1995, we were able to record a demo version of the album. The songs were written easily. Did you know that the main motive of “An eye for an eye” was invented in the morning with a brutal hangover during the treatment of the three-liter beer can? And when “Blood” was composed, I drank somewhere in Minsk and on arrival I could not understand what it was? A textlyrics “I am the Raven” was written under the influence of THE WHO but in the end it went far from the original. “Twilight Sun” song was written under the influence of CRANBERRIES – “Zombie”, but the text was a clear dedication to Syd Barrett from PINK FLOYD.

But in fact, the writing process was laborious. And sometimes I think that we're a little overstrained then, and therefore we couldn’t concentrate enough in the future to make new material fast. It took a lot of time to do that.

Thanks to this material, GODS TOWER signed a contract for three albums with the Moscow label MetalAgen Records, a division of SOYUZ studio. By the spring of 1996, the material for the album "The Turns" was ready and it was recorded in Moscow studio Aria Records in May — June. The style of this album can be roughly defined as the Slavonic Pagan Heavy Folk Doom Metal. The first edition of the album was released on tape by Polish company Mordid Noizz at the beginning of 1997. In May — June 97 in the same studio Aria Records GODS TOWER re-recorded the material from "The Eerie" demo for releasing it on CD. Also the song "Beyond Praying" from the demo "Canticles" has been re-recorder as a bonus track for the first limited edition digipak CD "The Eerie".

Concerts were  the main activity of our band. There was nothing to do at home — in concert tours we had real lives, we felt as people. It goes without saying that we didn’t have normal life conditions at that time. At best, we spent the nights more often at some apartments, and the booze did not stop for a minute. The equipment was pulled from the station to the club; it happened that we moved it on foot through the city. We travelled a lot by train; the bus ride was a rare treat. In the trains many interesting ideas were born — for music and videos.  A lot hasn’t been implemented so far – is still waiting for its turn. By the way, the song “Evil?!” was invented in a train, too

1996

During that time the band played many concerts in Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Tatarstan and the Ukraine with such bands as AXIDENT, CANONIS, SORROWFUL GOD, KORROZIA METALLA, TALES OF DARKNORD, GREAT SORROW, NOKTURNAL MORTUM, END ZONE, MENTAL HOME, SIEGED MIND , VICIOUS CRUSADE, HERMH, GORESLEEPS, MAD SANITY, EXHUMATOR, KRABATHOR, TORNADO and many others.

In the summer of 1996, we played at the two-day open air festival near the German city Haydenburg and shared the stage with IN FLAMES, PRIMORDIAL, BEHEMOTH, PAVOR, BETHLEHEM, ANCIENT CEREMONY, DESASTER, CRYSTAL AGE, INQUISITOR and others.

After our performance  the little-known (at that time) vocalist of IN FLAMES came to me and he surprised me by saying that he had read about the band and liked our show. Such moments inspire and convince you that you are on the right way.

1997-1998

At the end of 1997 the videotape "Twilight Lives 94-97" was released, which included amateur live footage, shot of the Belarusian TV and promo video to the demo version of the song "Beyond Praying". CDs and tapes with the albums "The Turns" and "The Eerie" were released at the beginning of 1998 at MetalAgen / SOYUZ. There were also filmed two music videos for the songs "The Eerie" and "An Eye For An Eye”. “The Eerie” video reached the first place in Belarusian music chart.

A lot of things happened during that time. Priorities and people changed, many events took place. The main problem at the time was me, not Urakoff. I drank more than anyone else and was lazier than anybody. Years later, I realized how foolish I acted, but now I've changed, and it was the right decision. So, soon it happened that Urakoff began to tire of the complexity of the project. I stopped drinking completely, and he on the contrary, started to treat the world around him more irresponsible. We almost stopped to compose new songs, although previously we used to generate ideas in an altered state.

1999

After that, for two years we had busy concert schedule throughout the CIS, and played with bands like PARADISE LOST, VICIOUS CRUSADE, SANATIRIUM, MENTAL HOME, EVTHANAZIA, TT'34 and many others.

Our road adventures were curious. Getting back in the winter from Nizhny Novgorod, we became victims of motor failure, and at forty degrees frost we stood from 2 A.M. until 2 P.M., waiting for the tug. Those who drank, drank up the hell. Those who did not drink (I did not drink, by the way ) started to hallucinate because of the frost. I stopped by at a roadside diner to warm up, and on the TV I saw the show of crazy kids. It turned out that this was "The Field of Miracles" TV show.

In 1998, “Legion” magazine readers recognized us as the best Belarusian metal band, and the album "The Turns" reached the top mark in the Belarusian metal charts. At the end of 1999, the German label Sturmesflugel (sub-label of Prophecy Productions) released the compilation named “Ebony Birds” with our best songs from previous albums specifically for the European market.

However, the situation in the band was not so rosy. The team was in a fever.

I gave up the slack, and began to take a slug at the bottle again. And since I and Urakoff were neighbors in the stairwell, we drank together. Splitting of our personalities happened too fast. There were times when we fought, I went on a concert with a black eye, and my broken teeth were legendary. And Urakoff was not a gentleman. We developed into marginals, the band only interrupted us.

2000-2001

In the  Augusto f  2000, we were in Hungary, where we took part in Europe's largest music festival SZIGET in Budapest. BAD RELIGION, CLAWFINGER, OASIS, GUANO APES, APOLLO 440, HIM, THE BLOODHOUND GANG, THERAPY?, ZDOB SI ZDUB, CCHUMBAWAMBA and many other performers took part in the festival. About 300 performers on 20 stages per week! We played as headliners on RADIO TILOS stage with HUMAN ERROR, NEURAL BUSTER, AHRIMAN, NEBRON, SUFFOCATE, DARK CLOUDS and Hungarian legend MOOD.

On the way back from Hungary, contradictions in the band reached a boiling point. The final split occurred in the Carpathian Mountains during the night libations that are included in our history as "Parade of the Planets." Drunk as hell, I and Urakoff began to kick each other from the band, unaware of the attitudes of others. Immediately after the return, bassist Yuri Sivtsoff and keyboard player Dmitry Ovchinnikoff left the band. However, the band was still alive, and the movement would continue, no matter what. In September, we found the bassist Valery Novoseltsev (Ex-ENTRY, VOODOO, TT-34) and keyboard player Sergei Sergeychikovy  (VOODOO) and went to the Baltics on Baltic Thunder tour, along with SANCTIMONY, THARAPITA, MERESSIN, NEGLECTED FIELDS, UGNELAKIS and ZPOAN VTENZ. After doing that, we toured the countries of the CIS for a year and even recorded several new songs that were included on the mini-album named “Abandon All Hope”.

At the presentation of this release on July 16, 2001 in Minsk, the group announced about its disbandment. The conversation took place on the road. The ultimatum was set to Urakoff – to drink or to play. He chose to drink. Further movement had no meaning. At a concert, we announced the stopping of the activity. And then everything turned into timelessness.

2003-2006

December 14, 2003, Alexander Urakoff – band’s leader, guitarist and songwriter – died.

I learned the news about the death of Urakoff with amazement because I should die earlier. I drank more and my lifestyle was the same marginal.

In the summer of 2004 all remastered demo and promo records from 1992-1995 period were released as a double CD under the title “The Anthology”. In 2005, the Belarusian label Go Records and the Ukrainian label Moon Records released the best of compilation named “The Greatest Arrows”. Also this CD collection included all 4 music videos and a demo of the unreleased song "Living Mirror". In the same year, the Belarusian label BMA released a tribute album “The Guard of Gods Tower”. On that 2CD release 23 groups from Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine presented their versions of GODS TOWER songs.

What happened next — Saltsevich went to St. Petersburg and played in several projects. As for me, all the bands in which I played during the collapse were below average. Perhaps only DIS TORTION was really interesting. But in any case, everything good that was done, was done by hands of Ovchinnikov and Sivtsov in RASTA. In 2006, (not sure about correct date), I went to the Ovchinnikov’s studio and he gave me his restored samples of unreleased GODS TOWER material. I expressed my admiration, but I didn’t have a single drop of the belief that everything could be returned,to say nothing of leading it to a whole new level.

2010-2013

I did not realize that there were some hidden processes. However, in 2010 we started to try to gather, rehearsed and tried to do something together again. And on May 13th of 2010, I had the honor to announce the reunion of the band.

Urakoff was replaced by his student, friend and associate Dmitry Lazarenko (BAN ZHVIRBA, PHYSICAL PRESENCE, THE LADDERS). He was able to understand the music component group in his manner. We recorded and published material that was created in the last years of classical line-up, restored it and added new elements. In 2011, the album "Steel says last" was released, in which all of this material was collected. From that moment a new era in the concert activity of the band started — even more successful than in the 90’s. We not only played triumphant return concerts in Gomel, Minsk, Kiev, Moscow and St. Petersburg and other big cities and capitals, but also set off a mini-tour with VADER, KATAKLYSM and MARDUK, in Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Magnitogorsk, Moscow and Voronezh.

A new guitarist was the reincarnation of Urakoff. He was almost all the same, with the only difference that he was more gravitated to the blues, while Alexander had virtuoso techniques  of playing blues in passing. Lazarenko even laughed like Urakoff when he got drunk. And he liked alcohol and women,too. He lacked only the boundless charisma of his spiritual mentor. . It was not always fun, sometimes it looked sad. We had only regret that Lazarenko, being so gifted musician, spends his talents on trifles without regret.

It was hard to work together. And at the bottom of our hearts we all realized that diverge of our paths was inevitable. The concerts were held in an atmosphere of mutual misunderstanding, and it was constantly accumulating. In the last joint tour every morning began with the presentation of claims to which no one responded. Everything accumulated and accumulated, and in the end, it was clear that someone would lose control first. Before the final concert in Minsk, Lazarenko left the band unexpectedly. But we were able to replace him surprisingly quickly — Vitaly Abramovich, guitarist known for his work with the bands NEURO DUBEL and  WEEPING TWILIGHT replaced Lazarenko right before the concert. His debut was a success, and that the correctness of the direction of development was confirmed in the summer of that year, when we successfully played at the Brutal Assault festival in the Czech Republic.

In fact, to me personally, it was clear right after the collapse of the band that if anyone could replace Urakoff, it would be Vitaly Abramovich. We played together a few times, and even though it was within the framework of one-off projects, the prospect was felt. When we (without hope) started to call Abramovich on the Russian- Belarusian border with the question whether he could replace Lazarenko without rehearsals, his answer was a revelation for us. He told that he could actually play a large part of the program. Without rehearsals. He joined the band on the run for a long time.

Our latest partnership with Lazarenko was studio work — recording a cover version of Bathory "A Song To Hall Up High" for a tribute compilation released by the British label Godreah Records. His guitar also sounds in the first vinyl release in our history –7EP“Heroes Die Young”, which contains two exclusive versions of our songs –“Rising Arrows” and “Heroes Die Young”.

That was the end of our cooperation.

And now we return to Vitaly Abramovich.

Our performance at the Brutal Assault in the Czech Republic proved that we have made the right choice with Abramovich. As a consequence, the work went quickly, we have generated new ideas, and we have begun to implement them.

In the spring of 2013, we presented a brand new song “Roll Out”, which was a continuation of our series of songs about modern war ,started in the late nineties , with “Civilization”.

We have been actively played gigs. In the autumn of 2013 we performed two gigs in Poland for the first time.

We have published concert video of "Poisonodog". This is the best announcement of DVD we produce now.

After that, we are proud to announce our new releases — anthology called “Raven Tales”, consisting of four double vinyl albums with all our albums.An exclusive version of the song "People In The Swamp" in the belarusian language "Ludzie Na Balocie" , published in anthology as a bonus track.  And seven-inch “Roll Out”. The single includes song“Roll Out” and Sergei Prokofiev's cantata fragment "Alexander Nevsky" adapted to the male performance version — "Field Of  The Dead".

At the end of 2013 Gods Tower visited with concerts all the major cities of Belarus also Vilnius, Kiev and Moscow, the band made the biggest tour in its history thus. During 2014-2016 the group played a lot of gigs in various festivals in Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania and Latvia. At the beginning of 2016th year Gods Tower presented internet-single Liar to the public. In addition to the eponymous composition dedicated to Giordano Bruno, which was released as video, internet-single contains a cover version of the song Srebra Pierunova of Nokturnal Mortum. Currently the band is working on big new material.

2017

Lesley Knife .


1989–2017





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