Monday, September 17, 2012

Class of 2012: Drudkh - Eternal Turn of the Wheel

Ukrainian black metallers Drudkh keep a low profile.  They don't do interviews, they don't sing (That's not the right word, is it?) in English, and their lyrics often come from Ukrainian poetry.

Eternal Turn of the Wheel opens with the acoustic instrumental "Eternal Circle."  This is the calm before the storm.

Within seconds of "Breath of Cold Black Soil," you can tell that this record is a little angrier and more aggressive than 2010's very good Handful of Stars.  The vocals, in particular, seem to have an extra bit of fury behind them.  Be sure to pay attention to the bells ringing, giving this song that added touch.

Standout track "When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls" does everything right.  It begins with a rainstorm (literally), uses synths sparingly (Don't worry - Drudkh haven't gone new wave on us), and features terrific drumming.

At 7:48, "Farewell to Autumn's Sorrowful Birds" is the shortest song on the album (not counting the intro song).  It almost has a doomy feel at the beginning until it speeds up halfway through.

Final track "Night Woven of Snow, Winds and Grey-Haired Stars" is big on atmosphere.  The band uses synths and the sound of nature (wind) to bring the record to a convincing close.

Eternal Turn of the Wheel finds Drudkh at or near the top of their game.  Not surprisingly, nature and the seasons play an important role throughout each of its five songs.

Grade: A-  (90.2%)

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