Drudkh - Eastern Frontier in Flames
Season Of Mist
Black Metal
7 songs (55:30)
Release year: 2014
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

Despite their having only been in existence since 2002, it's hard not to think of Drudkh as elder statesmen of black metal. From Forgotten Legends to Eternal Turn of the Wheel, their brand of black metal has become highly influential, and although certain albums may not have been as good as others, there's still a generally high bar set as this collection of rare EP material shows. Bringing together 2007's Anti-Urban, 2010's Slavonic Chronicles and the tracks released on the Thousands of Years Ago/The Gates split with Winterfylleth reviewed last week, it's a release primarily for fans. Let's face it, nine albums is a lot for any black metal band, and there are plenty of places I'd recommend newcomers go rather than here. And after hearing the dull Anti-Urban material, Fallen Into Oblivion a slow and bloodless instrumental black metal piece that is pretty much Drudkh on autopilot, and the repetitive Ashes which seems to be building somewhere but cuts out too soon, you may well wonder why you bothered hearing it at all...

Fortunately, the Slavonic Chronicles material is much better, a ten-minute cover of obscure Poles Sacrilegium kicking things off and slotting into Drudkh's hypnotic fuzzy woodland stroll norm well. The following cover of Indiánská Písen Hruzy, originally by Master's Hammer, is superb, adding a misleadingly funky tone to the bass at first before developing into something slower and grippingly melancholic. And the tracks from the Winterfylleth split, all cover versions (covered in that review, but just in case you missed it, I'll repeat myself) are all excellent. W Krainie Drzew (Hefeystos) is a classical black metal hymn with introductory keyboards leading into strong riffs, the slower Ten Ktery Se Vyhyba Svetlu (Unclean) has an intense performance from Thurios on vocals and little touches like kettle drums giving a warlike feel, and the furious Recidivus (Sacrilegium again) is closest to the classic Drudkh sound, albeit much angrier. Each song is interesting and holds your attention well, showing off the musicianship of the talented foursome as they take the Drudkh sound further. Those last three songs are the best on the collection, so those who have the Winterfylleth split can probably skip Eastern Frontier in Flames and not miss much. It's certainly worth a listen, though, and raises my hopes for whatever else we hear from Drudkh in 2014...

Killing Songs :
Indiánská Písen Hruzy, W Krainie Drzew, Ten Ktery Se Vyhyba Svetlu, Recidivus
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Drudkh that we have reviewed:
Drudkh - Eternal Turn Of The Wheel reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Drudkh - Forgotten Legends reviewed by Tony and quoted 99 / 100
Drudkh - Handful Of Stars reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
Drudkh - Microcosmos reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Drudkh - Blood In Our Wells reviewed by Charles and quoted 88 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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