Ukraine black metal band, Drudkh, is at it again. With their latest release, Eternal Turn of the Wheel, they went back to their roots bypassing the previous direction that they had taken with their last two releases. Gone are the progressive elements of their more recent releases and back are the deep, dark melodies that we can come to know Drudkh for.
Eternal Turn of the Wheel opens with a gusting wind and clean guitars leading one to think that the lighter feel that we have heard from them in their later years was shining through again, but that tone quickly changes with the beginning of the second track, Breath of Cold Black Soil. The classic black metal sound of days gone by hit you like a ton of bricks and Thurios’ vocals are as cutting as ever. The charging riffs from the first song proper are as sharp as ever and you cannot help but bang your head throughout the entire track.
Overall, this is another solid release from Drudkh, and hardly a step back in quality, but rather a few steps back in direction to their former selves. I am very pleased with this release and hope that you will give it a listen as well. While there are only four actual songs, they are run over seven minutes each, so this is no EP.
With “Eternal Turn of the Wheel” DRUDKH are returning to their black roots. In an ever evolving metamorphosis the Ukrainians take several steps back from the sound of their previous release “Handful of Stars” (2010), which took a more progressive and lighter direction. “Eternal Turn of the Wheel” owes deeply to their early legacy from the Nordic Black Metal inspired debut “Forgotten Legends” (2003) via the cinematic soundscapes of “Autumn Aurora” (2004) to the traditional influences rising on “The Swan Road” (2005). Instead of re-discovering Ukrainian poets, mastermind Roman Sayenko also relies on self-penned lyrics again with each song representing a season. To their dedicated following this turn does not come as a surprise as DRUDKH took many turns in their career since their inception in 2002. On “Blood in Our Wells” (2006), progressive elements surfaced, while after the instrumental and partly acoustic “Songs of Grief and Solitude” (2006) a sharp contrast was delivered by the harshly black “Estrangement” (2007). Their 2009 masterpiece “Microcosmos” seemed to tie up the different strands of DRUDKH’s previous works, before embarking on a quest to more outlying realms with “Handful of Stars” that led to the founding of OLD SILVER KEY joined by vocalist Neige (ALCEST). “Eternal Turn of the Wheel” now returns to the dark melancholy that permeates their music, which is often dubbed Slavonic Heathen Metal. This perfect soundtrack for a harsh winter will slowly reveal ever more of its secrets with each fresh spin. Drown all light and listen. Â
Eternal Turn of the Wheel Track Listing:
1. Eternal Circle
2. Breath of Cold Black Soil
3. When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls
4. Farewell to Autumn’s Sorrowful Birds
5. Night Woven of Snow, Winds and Grey-Haired Stars
Roman – guitar
Thurios – vocals, guitar
Krechet – bass
Vlad – drums, keyboards