Drudkh - Blood In Our Wells
Supernal Music
Black Metal
6 songs (50:04)
Release year: 2006
Supernal Music
Reviewed by Charles
Archive review
I had always had a high opinion of Drudkh’s previous records, but there had been elements that I wanted them to take further. I wanted to see a better synthesis of the folk elements with their black metal, as on works such as The Swan Road they had seemed to have been thrown in as something of an afterthought. Confining it to a closing track seemed to me to be a disappointing admission that- while this type of music could sit uneasily alongside metal- it couldn’t be convincingly integrated. A shame, because one of Black Metal's greatest achievements is its ability to embrace dark folk music seamlessly and evocatively.

They took a few steps towards proving me wrong on Blood in our Wells. These strange folk interludes have been scattered more liberally, often appearing for just a few moments at the start of tracks, as well as for a more extended period at the very beginning of the album. But its finest innovations lay elsewhere. Blood combines the best elements of their prior two records; the intelligent and subtle melodies forged from furious tremolo picking of The Swan Road, and the expansive warmth of Autumn Aurora. But they sounded stronger. Take the first track after the introduction- Furrow of Gods. We begin with familiar strangled vocals above a slow, simple melody very much in the Autumn Aurora vein, but the sound here is so powerful. The guitar tone is rich, and the sustained keyboard chords soak into the overall mix. The drums, too, are thunderously precise and given a high dynamic priority, meaning the album sounds larger and more epic than Drudkh ever had done in the past. After a short acoustic guitar interlude this melody reappears, but this time layered on top is an emotive twin lead guitar melody that repeats itself in the mind long after it has stopped playing. It is this embrace of the flamboyant heavy metal guitar solo that really sets this apart and brings it to life. Whereas before the occasional lead lines had skipped around folkish breakdowns, here Drudkh branch out into more conventionally metallic, shred passages.

It's actually quite a big change for a seemingly dour black metal band, and the fact that the most extrovert guitar lines are paradoxically often buried unusually deep in the mix may indicate they were slightly unsure about making it. But it works- especially on Eternity, where a frantic lead solo flickers underneath a furious tremolo riff. The improvements brought about by increased instrumental dexterity aren't just confined to the lead parts: The seamless rhythm guitar flicking between fast tremolo picking and crunching melody that forms the opening section to Solitude is another album highlight

It’s also way better, more colourful, interesting and passionate than their most recent, Estrangement. For me, this may be their finest record, and one of the peaks of the Eastern European black metal scene.

Killing Songs :
Furrow of the Gods, Eternity
Charles quoted 88 / 100
Adam quoted 86 / 100
Goat quoted 90 / 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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