Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Drudkh - Anti-Urban

Circa 2007

Drudkh is undeniably one of the most accomplished and consistent black metal band in the scene today. With five albums already released, Roman Saenko has clearly proven his ability to craft truly emotional black metal to a degree unmatched save for few current bands. This 10" EP proves his ability even further. Roman has written two songs for a medium which doesn't normally suit the epic scope of past Drudkh masterpieces such as "False Dawn" or "When The Flame Turns To Ashes." Even though the songs are limited in time, somehow they elude this seemingly inescapable restriction. "Fallen Into Oblivion" seems to last for hours, a constant wavering spiral into depressive depths.

The production is as crisp as one could expect from Roman; all his work is accompanied by an incredibly deep and dense tone. The guitars are unconquerable, standing tall and thick, like a bastion of immense size that would make the ancients in Jericho envious. Layer upon layer of subtle details are built up to give the music an absolutely magical quality. The drums are also well produced and crisp and offer little to complain about.

For some the repetitive nature of Drudkh's music may be a distinct low point. In the case of repetition, on this EP, the characteristic repetition is heightened to substantial levels. "Fallen Into Oblivion" is nothing but repetitive yet never loses momentum. What could be a major turn off to many instead works; the song never releases its hold. Once within the song, one truly feels as if falling forever, never grasping, nor expecting an end to the fall. "Ashes" also exists by this repetitive formula yet with vocals and a more nuanced and toyed with melody, is more involved. Very subdued vocals are added to tease the listener into focusing not ON the music but INTO the music.

Lastly, the packaging is beautiful and depicts the remnants of the Ukranian city Kharkiv during World War 2. Clearly this is centered around Roman's open nationalism and native feelings. The orange record is a nice feature and has, as one person mentioned, "an earthly hue for an earthly album." Ultimately, as a final product this is a beautiful work of art.

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