Drudkh - _Eternal Turn of the Wheel_
(Season of Mist, 2012)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (8.5 out of 10)
Listening to Drudkh takes a lot of dedication. First, the band sings in Ukrainian, with native tongue employed for album titles and song names. Secondly, their thematic tones center on Slavic mythology and folklore. Thirdly, they strongly identify with certain Ukrainian political figures and artists, which has linked them to a nationalist form of black metal. Lastly, the band was one of the pioneers for atmospheric black metal and have a strong fanbase due to a consistent output of decent records. I always feel unprepared for Drudkh's records. I am a bit more ready for their ninth record _Eternal Turn of the Wheel_, but still slightly intimidated.

Listening to Drudkh's entire discography up until _Eternal Turn of the Wheel_ would take one a little under six hours. While this task seems arduous, the act would better frame _Eternal Turn of The Wheel_ as an essential piece in the band's history. For the past few records, Drudkh has been exploring more progressive territory, beginning with the excellent folk record _Songs of Grief and Solitude_ and ending at the beautifully crafted yet poorly welcomed _Handful of Stars_. _Eternal Turn of The Wheel_ returns to the band's formative black metal sound, both refined and raw.

_Eternal Turn of the Wheel_ is 34 minutes long, but does what most black metal records do in 50 minutes. Throughout the four tracks, masterful landscapes are crafted which not only espouse beauty but decades of grief. Despite the four tracks being under ten minutes, their sections are evenly portioned, with nothing feeling too long nor short. The band seems to being paying tribute to their sound with tense black metal tracks like the opening "Breathe of Cold Black Soil" to the more progressive closer "Night of Woven Snow". While listening to Drudkh's entire discography before _Eternal Turn of the Wheel_ is almost essential, beginning with this record before traveling backwards would be acceptable as well.

Drudkh is somewhat inaccessible both for newcomers and longtime fans who feel unimportant in their own existence. The band's serious tone cast over every single album turns each record into a weighted experience. _Eternal Turn of the Wheel_ is moving and deserving of every praise. Whether or not it is a party record is yet to be determined. I am thinking otherwise.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/drudkhofficial

(article published 4/3/2012)


ALBUMS
11/29/2010 K Sarampalis 8 Drudkh - Handful of Stars
2/16/2008 A Erickson 8.5 Drudkh - Anti-Urban
4/18/2006 J Montague 9 Drudkh - Blood in Our Wells
9/6/2005 Q Kalis 9.5 Drudkh - The Swan Road
6/19/2004 P Azevedo 9 Drudkh - Autumn Aurora
10/30/2003 M Noll 9 Drudkh - Forgotten Legends
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