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Drudkh – A Few Lines In Archaic Ukrainian

Drudkh
A Few Lines In Archaic Ukrainian
by Erika Kuenstler at 13 May 2019, 7:06 AM

Shrouded in the mist of obscurity, Ukrainian Black Metal horde DRUDKH has always kept to themselves, never playing live, never even giving interviews. Rather, they choose to let their music talk for them and for itself. Never ones to rest on their laurels, this year sees DRUDKH back with their latest compilation “A Few Lines In Archaic Ukrainian”, inspired by 20th century Ukrainian literature, all penned by men who died young in the 1930s and 1940s. Following closely on the heels of their well-received 11th full length 2018 album “They Often See Dreams About The Spring”, this compilation features several songs that have been previously released on other splits, and despite having just six song, the run-time of this compilation is close to an hour.

The first two songs, “Золотий кінь (Golden Horse)” and “Вогняний змій (Fiery Serpent)” stem from DRUDKH’s 2016 split with HADES ALMIGHTY. Here, the inspiration for these songs are drawn from the writer Volodymyr Svidzins'kyi, killed by the Soviet regime for his outspokenness. “Golden Horse” sees a tempestuous and fierce song burst forth, tempered by swirling melodies and moments of searing melancholy. “Fiery Serpent” on the other hand keeps up the blistering tempo but has a more prevailing and powerful feel to it, slowly evolving into an uplifting atmosphere towards the end of the song.

2016 also saw the unveiling of DRUDKH’s split with GRIFT, and it is from this release that we get “Його двадцять четверта весна (His Twenty-Fourth Spring)” and “Осінь в сепії (Autumn in Sepia)”. The lyrics of the former were written by the short-lived Bohdan-Ihor Antonych, who died of appendicitis before his 30th birthday. The latter song draws on the words of Mike Johansen, another writer who was killed in Russia. Both these songs incorporate bleak and cold atmospheres with hard-hitting melodies. “His Twenty-Fourth Spring” takes its time to really build the atmosphere, working up to an almost groovy melody that takes you on a meandering journey through the various soundscapes. “Autumn in Sepia” takes this melody and carves it into something of delicate and fragile beauty. Here the melodies really take wing, in parts soaring with ephemeral exquisiteness and in parts sinking in a quagmire of harsh relentlessness.

The final two songs, namely “Всі відтінки тиші (All Shades of Silence)” and “Ніч крокує до свого трону (The Night Walks Towards Her Throne)” originate from DRUDKH’s 2017 split with PAYSAGE D'HIVER. Here, “Всі відтінки тиші (All Shades of Silence)” is based on the work of Yevhen Pluzhnyk. In contrast to this poet Maik Yohansen provided the inspiration for “Ніч крокує до свого трону (The Night Walks Towards Her Throne)”. Again, both poets were killed during the Soviet regime. “All Shades of Silence” really sees DRUDKH’s music shine, flawlessly melding together everything from forlorn melodies redolent with despair to very minimalistic and meditative moments. “The Night Walks Towards Her Throne” on the other hand takes on a more typical Black Metal approach: cold, aggressive and uncompromising. This is however done with an undertow of stunning yet slightly twisted melodies that really bring the hidden facets of the song to light.

If you missed out on the previous splits, “A Few Lines In Archaic Ukrainian” is the perfect opportunity to catch up on some of DRUDKH’s less known works. Just “Autumn in Sepia” and “All Shades of Silence” alone would already make this compilation worth listening into.

Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 6
Song-writing: 8


 

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Золотий кінь (Golden Horse)
2. Вогняний змій (Fiery Serpent)
3. Його двадцять четверта весна (His Twenty-Fourth Spring)
4. Осінь в сепії (Autumn in Sepia)
5. Всі відтінки тиші (All Shades of Silence)
6. Ніч крокує до свого трону (The Night Walks Towards Her Throne)
Lineup:
Roman Saenko - Guitars, Bass
Thurios - Vocals, Keyboards
Krechet - Bass, Keyboards
Vlad - Drums, Keyboards
Record Label: Season of Mist
     


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