Many years back in my early days of Black Metal discovery I remember Drudkh as one of the first bands I heard branching out from the traditional aggression and satanic oriented sound. Perhaps with a strong influence from Burzum their journey into low fidelity textural guitar distortions brought about a sense of naturism, atmosphere and natural beauty. At the time it was a really odd experience but Id never stuck with the band despite holding them in high regard, they just slipped my mind at the time. All these years later I tune into there latest EP and I'm greeted with a reminder of how we learn music, the textures, melodies, structures and inspiration. This was once a challenging band for me, yet now its a welcoming pleasure. Drudkh are a Ukrainian band who formed in 2002 and have since released ten full lengths and this is the latest of six EPs.
Opening with "All Shades Of Silence" we are hurtled into an immediate wall of sound, thick and textural with shrill melodies bleeding from distortion wrapped in the thunder of blast beats and driven by a pounding baseline. In rather primitive yet effective song structuring this drone of darkness breaks to reveal the light with a shift to another short repeated section of dual guitar work, scaling tremolo picking and churning power chord ripping working off one another in tandem. These simple shifts lead the song into a stark and bleak minimalist composition on the keyboards, a cosmic glimpse as astral synths draw out their spacious tones over a buried, mysterious clicking. In its final phase the song finds its way back to a far more expansive Black Metal tone with Post-Metal guitar leads and an adventurous baseline rumbling up and down the fret board. Its a song that conjures an Ethereal setting, rich in atmosphere, with the harsh contrast of mother natures cruelty through ripping guitar distortions. The second song is more of the same, big blocks of arrangements on repeat, changing up every minute or so, shuffling back and forth and around the five minute mark jumping to an excellent climatic break with heathen chants over the shift in musical intensity.
The music is fantastic, fast, intense yet soothing, indulgent and wondrous in that typically Black Metal way. The guitar texture and riffs are much to my taste but the one thing I couldn't get out of my mind were the song structures. Each song seemed to play of the shifting of the short sections on repeat. Each had four to five each with some variations that made up over twenty minutes of music. Despite seeming simplistic, its extremely effective! Solid record, I have no excuse now to not give them more attention.