Drudkh - Songs Of Grief And Solitude
Supernal Music
Neofolk
9 songs (36:00)
Release year: 2006
Supernal Music
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

It’s not often that a band appears from rather dodgy roots and goes on to capture the hearts and minds of a generation of metalheads, yet this is exactly what Ukrainian nationalist Black Metallers Drudkh did over the course of a few years since the band came into existence in 2002. Arising from the ashes of NSBM ‘heroes’ Hate Forest, Drudkh produced four albums of beauteous blackness, after which Roman and co. astonished everyone by releasing an album of pure Folk. Reactions differed hugely, yet on considering the band’s roots it’s not such a hard concept to grasp. The Folk sound is at the heart of Drudkh’s music, after all, and by removing the snarls and drums the band stripped its sound to the absolute purest minimum.

Of course, just because you like Drudkh doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically love Songs Of Grief And Solitude. This is minimalist Folk, after all, for the most part comprised of acoustic strumming, with the odd flute melody to add a little spice. There’s no percussion or vocal elements whatsoever, and so for many this will be a step too far. If you’re a fan of the new wave of Folk bands springing up around Europe, however, then odds are you’ll love this.

Songs Of Grief And Solitude is mostly made up of rearrangements of other Drudkh songs, such as The Milky Way which contains parts of Blood from 2005’s excellent album The Swan Road. Don’t let that put you off, however, as even if you know the original songs like the back of your hand, hearing them cut down to the basics gives them a whole new meaning. This really is all about the atmosphere, taking you to melancholic sunlit fields far away, the very occasional sampled birdcall adding so, so much to the experience. It’s not Ambient music at all, as there’s just enough going on to draw you in, but it does demand your concentration and patience to get the most from it.

This won’t appeal to all of Drudkh’s fans, but it should appeal to the vast majority of them. If you enjoy the band’s Blackened output and want an entrance into the fast-growing Neofolk world, then this would be the ideal place to start, but there’s a lot here for everyone else. What does finally impress is that Drudkh is as capable of making a soulful noise with acoustic elements as with the entire Black spectrum. Songs Of Grief And Solitude isn’t vital, but it is an important piece in the puzzle, and as such should be given a chance by anyone interested in the Ukrainian Black Metal scene.

Killing Songs :
All or none, depending on you
Goat quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Drudkh that we have reviewed:
Drudkh - A Furrow Cut Short reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Drudkh - Eastern Frontier in Flames reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
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
To see all 11 reviews click here
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