Drudkh - Microcosmos
Season Of Mist
Black Metal
6 songs (39:17)
Release year: 2009
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

Forgive me for Editorialising, but one of the more startling bits of news came recently when Ukrainian Black Metal institution Drudkh signed to France’s Season Of Mist after spending most of their career on England’s too-kvlt-for-school Supernal Records. In an extremely cynical move, a press release came out a few months back informing everyone that, hey, Drudkh are not a political band, they’ve burnt all remaining stocks of the ‘Art for White Intellectual Elite’ t-shirt and it’s ok to listen to them (admittedly I'm extrapolating a little from what was actually said) – thereby setting at rest all the troubled hearts of the good little Metalheads around the world who justifiably refuse to support the work of fascists, as Roman Saenko and company have sailed extremely close to that career-killing tag with their past output under other names. In a world where being ‘political’ is something bad, to be avoided – and who can blame people for being apolitical in a world where corruption is so deep in the west and tyrants like Iran’s Ahmadinejad steal elections in the east? – it’s interesting that National Socialists and fascist organisations like the British National Party alike are denying their past as they edge closer and closer to the mainstream – the BNP has more legitimate power in the UK than any extreme-right organisation has managed before, and Drudkh have been the name on the Black Metal faithful’s lips for years now. It seems that their career is destined to be bigger and brighter, and whatever you think of that, it’s impossible to deny that this is an interesting time indeed to be a Metalhead.

Still, Drudkh are not a political band (funny, I could have sworn that praising the Ukrainian Insurgent Army fell under the ‘politics’ tag, silly old me) and their new album, Microcosmos, continues along the Folk-strewn path that they’ve been making a name for themselves since Forgotten Legends. There are no real changes, although it’s clear that this is the most straight-forward the band have ever been, stripping the meandering down to a minimum and focusing on the melodies, melancholic Folky riffing backed by the spiky bass and Thurios’ roars. All the songs here are over nine minutes, the intro and outro pieces aside, and all are pretty much what we expect from Drudkh – this is everything that you would expect from a follow-up to 2007’s Estrangement. Although this is noticeably more technical in style – the trade-off between acoustic and electric guitars in Ars Poetica one example – it’s the same old Drudkh that we know and love, lengthy atmospheric journeys through autumnal woods and atmospheric mountainsides... the change in style of artwork is only slight when you consider that this is the same ‘spiritual’ sound of before, touching all the same buttons.

It’s worth taking a moment to note how wonderfully skilled the musicians are; Vlad’s drumming is excellent, as are Roman’s guitars – the soloing that opens Everything Unsaid Before will have any Metalhead in rapture, and the Heavy Metal leaning of the track is superb. The eerie intro and outro pieces are superb, and whilst the transition between opening piece Days That Passed and first song proper Distant Cries Of Cranes is jarring and anything but smooth, a few minutes into the latter you soon forget all about it. As before, the faint Progressive Rock influences are still there, deep within the band’s sound, and whilst Drudkh is a good way yet from being truly Prog, they’ve developed their sound enough to make it truly original. This is an uneven middle line between the Burzumic past and melodic later releases of the band, and fans of both should be more than satisfied.

The phrase I find myself reaching for over and over again is the same one I used for Estrangement – more of the same, but not the same. It’s a little harsh to Microcosmos, because it is superior to Estrangement, although still not up to the holy trinity of Blood In Our Wells, Autumn Aurora and Swan Road. Frankly, no-one expects real changes in Drudkh’s sound, and if you enjoyed their past works then Microcosmos is another excellent release from a band that is proving its consistent quality as each year passes.

MySpace (label-run)
Killing Songs :
Distant Cries Of Cranes, Decadence, Ars Poetica, Everything Unsaid Before
Goat quoted 85 / 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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