Tim Krysko of Wreck The Place Fantastic reporting in with our International Spotlight. Every week we're featuring updates and music downloads from bands outside the North American market. This week we're headed to Belarus:

This past week I watched with interest the presidential election in the Eastern European country of Belarus. This often-forgotten country is said to be the last dictatorship of Europe and thus has a pretty fascinating political scene. While I know for a fact that punk bands exist in Belarus, knowledge of its music scene has always been elusive to me. One band I do know from the area, and enjoy quite a lot, is a metal band called Asguard. They put out an album a few months ago, titled "Dreamslave", on Long Beach, California's This Dark Reign Records.

The band formed in 1996 in the Belarusian town Mogilev. Their first demo was released throughout Eastern Europe on Fatal Ecstasy Productions, also based out of Belarus. 1999 saw their first proper album, "Summis Desiderantess Effectibuson", on Ukrainian metal label Bloodhead Productions. In the years that followed, Asguard's popularity rose and they signed on with This Dark Reign / Devil Doll Records in the US. "Black Fire Land" was their 2004 debut in the West, and that brings us to their current release, "Dreamslave".

Here's the title track "Dreamslave" for all the metal fans out there who appreciate Scandinavian-style black metal.

Asguard - Dreamslave (MP3)