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Druknroll - Unbalanced Award winner

Druknroll
Unbalanced
by Jon Conant at 01 May 2018, 3:35 AM

DRUKNROLL is kind of a tough band to pin down. Here’s what we know: they love combining and mashing up all sorts of different metal styles with a drunken vigor, and they’re super duper Russian. Their latest full length, “Unbalanced,” is no different. A ferocious mashup of countless styles of metal: it thrashes, it djents, it slams, it grooves, it has softer moments, and it has PLENTY of heavy moments. A constant feeling of organized chaos and total mayhem carry the vibe of the album, and all things considered, it works really well. The heavy moments will have you head banging, the catchy moments will grab your attention, and it’s all topped off with solid production value and crushing vocal work from vocalist Horror. It begins at an unrelenting pace with the epic and soaring track “Hundred,” and doesn’t slow down through the entire album.

“Hundred” is in fact one of my favorite tracks of the year so far, and does an excellent job of encapsulating what the album is about. It begins with a thrashy and proggy guitar line that carries into a verse layered with brutal death metal vocals, before transitioning into a clean vocal dominant chorus, all while maintaining the proggy nature of the instruments playing in the background. It’s, generally speaking, one of the softer songs on the album, which is awesome. They don’t give you their heaviest stuff right out the gate. This song also makes FANTASTIC use of piano, perfectly added, their talent as musicians on full display.

Track 2 “Unbalanced” takes a much more aggressive and heavy note, we get a lot more of a djent feel here. Also the bridge guitar solo is wicked cool. Track 3 is the aptly titled “Bad Math,” heavy but also proggy, and it does vaguely remind me of math rock bands. Whether that was intentional with the title? Who knows. But it’s a killer track, 3 songs deep and the album is already stuffed to the brim with variety. This number also features a killer guitar solo.

The album doesn’t really let up. With the exception of track 4 “It’s Not My Way” which is a softer track, relatively speaking, it’s a constant barrage of chaotic and pounding metal. Other choice tracks for me include the brutal and wicked “Philosphy of Life” with it’s quick and dark doom/death metal riffs, “Mirror” with it’s epic droning of chunking djent-esque riffs, and closer “Dark Matter” which perfectly sums up the chaotic and prog nature of the album.

“Mirror” in particular is a favorite, although I am having a hard time choosing one track that stands out above the rest (a true sign of excellence). The droning and dark nature of the song is absolutely captivating, with a pounding and chunky feel that I absolutely LOVE. It reminds me of some bastard combination of DARK TRANQUILITY, IN FLAMES, and BLIND GUARDIAN. But that’s pretty specific, so take it with a grain of salt. The point is: it's fucked up. In a GREAT way.

All said and done, if you’re open in minded and in the mood for something fresh, give this album a listen. It may not be what you’re expecting, but you’re definitely going to love it.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Hundred
2. Unbalanced
3. Bad Math
4. It's Not My Way
5. Philosophy of Life
6. On the Hook
7. Eternal Confrontation
8. Mirror
9. The Heroes of the War
10. Dark Matter
Lineup:
Druknroll - Guitars, Bass, Keys, Drums
Horror – Vocals
Knip - Guitar, Sound Effects, Drums
Denys Malyuga - Solo-Guitar
Record Label: Metal Scrap Records
     


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