Saturday, 4 November 2017

Drudkh "Microcosmos" (2009)

I enjoyed the Ukrainian bands latest release Somewhere Sadness Wanders. Intrigued by their dense, stoic sound I turned to what some fans say is their finest moment, the seventh album, Microcosmos, which I unfortunately didn't find a connection deserving of such praise. My experience of this record is mostly mediocrity with an exceptional moment of soaring epic between a hardship of forms broken by a raw, visual Slavic folk instrumentation in the acoustic oriented moments that interlink long passageways of thick, grisly guitars that span four lengthy ordeals.

Moody cold winds, overcast skies and vast forests stretching the mountains as Drudkh capture the bleak yet beautiful side of Eastern European countrysides with their thick wall of tonal noise. The ever present drone of dense, chromatic guitars haze over clunky, muddied baselines as the drums do an industrious job of holding it together with on a kit that rattles and rumbles as if its bursting at the seems, ready to fall apart. Singer Thurious snarls and shrieks in his native tongue at regular measures with a helping amount of reverberation that bleeds his shouts into the fog of guitar distortion.

The songs grind and groan as unapologetic riffs carry the burden of continuing forward on these nine minute plus epics. They carry a hardship as bluesy woes cry from the harmonization buried in its tonal thickness. No flashy tricks, or stunts shift the music in unexpected directions or uplift the weight, "Ars Poetica" finds respite in the rumbling of a gentle snare drum alongside a folk like acoustic plucking as the song rests its tired feet for a moment. Its a continuous journey of hardship with only the occasional break for something a little more excitable, the albums longest song "Decadence" drags us through the dark to the eight minute mark for a gleaming moment of triumph and relief as the song reaches a satisfying peak with its soaring riff of victory.

Flashy electric guitar solos arise in short bursts on these songs. With a more conventional tone and flair they seem a little out of place however one can hear that's not what the band were going for. They have sorrow, grief and pain in their call but the tone feels unequal to the music and they stuck out like a sore thumb for me. The atmosphere this records holds is strong and rigid, vivid and engulfing but its wasn't quite to my taste, it leans to far into the struggle with not enough rest from the ruin.

Favorite Song: Decedance
Rating: 5/10