Melnitsa (Мельница, Russian for windmill) is a Russian folk rock band. It was founded in 1999 by Natalia "Hellawes" O'Shea and Alexey "Chus" Sapkov around the remnants of a local folk band 'Till Eulenspiegel'.
The band fuses Russian, Irish and other North European folk influences with guitar pop/rock. Natalia "Hellawes" O'Shea, the lead singer and primary songwriter, is an academic and a specialist in medieval European languages and cultures by day. Her expertise lends the typically complex fantasy-laden lyrics a degree of authenticity.
For the first several years the band had worked the club and festival circuit, earned a bona fide cult status in the folk-n-fantasy teenage sub-culture and released an acoustic album Doroga Sna (Дорога Сна, The Road of Dream) featuring the underground hit Gorets (Горец, Highlander) set to the Russian translation of Robert Burns' Highland Harry Back Again.
Luck struck in 2005, when the lead single Nochnaya Kobyla (Ночная Кобыла, Night mare) off their second, more pop-infused album Pereval (Перевал, Mountain Pass) had been sneaked into rotation on Nashe Radio (the name and lyrics of the song are a complex allusion to Mara, a Norse mythical entity that caused nightmares). A grass-roots chart effort by fans propelled the song to No. 1 position in the "Best Of Year" chart, and the band to the small arena circuit (sparsely populated in Russia).
Their latest albums Zov Krovi (Зов Крови, Call of Blood) and Dikiye Travy (Дикие Травы, Wild Grasses, released early 2009) features the same lyrical and melody themes underscored by more rhythm section support from the band.
|Original title||Transliterated Title||Translation||Year of release|
|Дорога Сна||Doroga Sna||The Road of Dream||2003|
|Master of the Mill (EP)||Master of the Mill (EP)||Master of the Mill (EP)||2004|
|Зов Крови||Zov Krovi||Call of the Blood||2006|
|Дикие Травы||Dikiye Travy||Wild Grasses/Herbs||2009|
|Рождественские песни||Rozhdestvenskie pesni||Christmas Songs||2011|
There was also a compilation album, "The Best," in 2007.
- Natalia "Hellawes" O'Shea - vocals, Irish harp
- Alexey "Chus" Sapkov - producer
- Sergey Zaslavsky - flute
- Alexey Orlov - cello
- Alexey Kozhanov - bass
- Dmitry Frolov - drums
- Sergey Vishnyakov (on March 2010) — guitar
Former members include:
- Alevtina Leontyeva - vocals
- Alexander "Grendel" Stepanov - guitar
- Natalia Filatova - flute
- Natalia Kotlova - cello
- Evgeny Chesalov - bass
- Alexander Leer - drums
- Inessa Klubochkina - violin
- A portmanteau word referring to obsession with angels and angel motifs