Drudkh - Eternal Turn Of The Wheel
Season Of Mist
Black Metal
5 songs (37:14)
Release year: 2012
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat
Major event

I appear to have been the only person in the metalsphere who genuinely enjoyed Drudkh's much-derided foray into experimental territory with Handful Of Stars. As I hinted in that review, I was rather looking forward to Drudkh continuing their experimental drive, and part of me was wondering if perhaps they'd even do an Opeth, going all retro and 70s. A 70s Drudkh full of flutes and Hammond organs would be incredible, wouldn't it? Sadly, Roman and co. decided instead to separate their experimental tendencies into the disappointing Old Silver Key, turning Drudkh back towards a purer black metal. Some, then, will rejoice to hear that Eternal Turn Of The Wheel is most definitely the sort of album that you'd expect to hear from Drudkh, but I'm rather mournful about it.

A good thing, then, that Eternal Turn Of The Wheel is a mournful album! That title is the clumsiest thing about it; the musicianship is about as expert as you get in black metal. Intense, sharp yet hypnotic and melancholic riffing forms the songs, the folk influences that made the band's greatest moments so great stripped right down, with minimalism being the key. This is not an instantaneous album, nor indeed an album it's easy to feel anything but disappointed with after initial listens. After the far too brief Eternal Circle's acoustic strum and blowing wind lightens your mood, Breath Of Cold Black Soil brings you back down to earth with instant angry blastbeats and riffing, a clear metallic structure notable with the loud drums leading the charge, but rather repetitive and - whisper it - dull for all that. There's saving grace when the music takes a curiously psychedelic ambient route, keyboards becoming louder if vocals staying as angry and resentful as before. The track ends oddly, drums speeding up dementedly before ending in sudden silence, but it's hard to really say that you've just heard genius. We've gotten too used to hearing memorable songs from Drudkh, and it's not a great thing to hear them moving away from the Blood In Our Wells back to the Forgotten Legends of yore.

This seems to be a common theme with this album, the following When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls continuing the angry psychedelia with loud drums and vocals atop a morass of keyboards and guitars, switching to acoustic pleasantries for an all-too-brief moment before returning to the violence. Farewell To Autumn's Sorrowful Birds is better, shorter and more focused with a barely-hidden melody snagging your interest and keeping it for the full length, yet it's the final Night Woven Of Snow Winds And Grey-Haired Stars which really shows the band have their old skills to hand, deep bass grooves playfully toying with you whilst the surrounding melodies overwhelm. A trick perhaps over-used during the course of the track, but an effective one, and one that is a breath of fresh, icy air when compared to the slightly dull, unexciting soundscape that surrounds it.

Sometimes music just isn't exceptional, doesn't tug at the ears and soul as well as it could. Drudkh have built a career out of people taking their music more seriously than is necessary, constructing heady images of landscapes cold and forlorn that aren't always matched by the quality of the music underneath. Sure, Drudkh are capable of such genius, and Eternal Turn Of The Wheel shows flashes of such, but it's not enough to make it into anything more than a boringly competent album. And I don't think I'm unreasonable in expecting more from Drudkh than boring competence, as good as that is compared to some...

Killing Songs :
Farewell To Autumn's Sorrowful Birds, Night Woven Of Snow Winds And Grey-Haired Stars
Goat quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Drudkh that we have reviewed:
Drudkh - A Furrow Cut Short reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Drudkh - Eastern Frontier in Flames reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Drudkh - Forgotten Legends reviewed by Tony and quoted 99 / 100
Drudkh - Handful Of Stars reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
Drudkh - Microcosmos reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
To see all 11 reviews click here
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There are 4 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:24 pm
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