Sunday, 19 August 2012

Drudkh - Eternal Turn Of The Wheel

1. Eternal Circle
2. Breath Of Black Cold Soil
3. When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls
4. Farewell To Autumn's Sorrowful Birds
5. Night Woven Of Snow, Winds And Gray-Haired Stars

Gone are the days of the bedazzling Autumn Aurora, of the warm, mellow passages that used to carve dreamy textures. Gone are the glorious days of "False Dawn", which meandered consistently for 15-minutes and had the grand oaks hum gleefully to its welcoming melodies. Gone are the days of the folksy meddling on Blood In Their Wells, and so is the dear love of mother Ukraine. Those black metal masterpieces were all once masterfully crafted by Drudkh, but as it seems, time has taken its toll on the band, for the quality of their works only waned and dwindled with time.

Okay, enough lamentations. It is true that the aforementioned opuses are very difficult to recreate, but Eternal Turn Of The Wheel is a bland black metal album. Drudkh promised us that they were going to return to their roots, but alas, their return wasn't very well-calculated. Now, I agree that it isn't THAT bad, but it is quite boring, not only compared to their previous works, but also in general. And it is only 37- minutes long.

Musically, Drudkh rely on a very basic, orthodox method: three tremolo-picked riffs stretched repetitively across 10-minute songs, with some acoustic parts in between. The riffs are pretty much uninteresting and grow monotonous over time, but since this is black metal, I think we can forgive the monotony. The thing that we can't forgive though is the hideously horrendous guitar tone that pretty much destroys anything good on the record.  Most of the riffs come off as a indecipherable fuzzy wall of lame noise. Fortunately, the synths come in and save most of the riffs. On the other hand, the drumming is neat and well-done, but the vocals are mediocre and sometimes annoying.

The musical weakness of Eternal Turn Of The Wall is somehow made up for by its atmosphere. Of course, it isn't nearly as half as good as the engulfing soundscapes of Autumn Aurora, yet nevertheless, it's decent compared to a lot of other black metal. Personally, I disliked the songwriting on Eternal Turn Of The Wheel, but the atmosphere made the cut for me; I felt that the music was expressed with soul, which is pretty important in black metal.

So to conclude, I'm going to say that I didn't like Eternal Turn Of The Wheel, but I didn't hate it too. It's an average album from a great band, and that seems to be the reason of disappointment. Yet it is not totally devoid of immense Drudkh moments. In my opinion, if this album was written by another band, it would have been appreciated much, much more. Horribly-produced guitars and comparison to their older records notwithstanding, Drudkh's Eternal Turn Of The Wheel is an album worth several listens, until it starts becoming boring and gets on your nerves.

Rating: 6.3/10.

Breath Of Cold Black Soil

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