Review Summary: A stunning second album and probably a good one to start at.
Most people in the black metal scene know about Drudkh, recently gaining many fans after their recent release, Enstrangement. However, if you look further into their back catalogue, especially Autumn Aurora, you really find some of their best and most interesting material. This album made them come right into the forefront of the Eastern European black metal scene, within the ranks of Nokturnal Mortum and Graveland.
The first thing I noticed when I fist listened to Autumn Aurora was the stunning synths, which I would say are some of the best I have heard in black metal music. They feel so over-powering, which take your mind into a trance throughout the whole length of the album and give to mind such vivid images.
The synths give the music an organic feel, making it sound natural and fresh, with enough room in the production for each instrument to breath and to be appreciated. However, the bass, like with most black metal records, are stuck underneath the other instruments and don't serve any real important purpose.
Drudkh brings to you a scene of forests, lakes and mountains, just as autumn begins. With leaves turning brown and the fresh autumn wind. This is pretty much unlike any other album. One which can set a mood and a scene, so vividly even the album cover seems to be so reflective of the music contained. On the last track titled 'The First Snow', it has a completely different atmosphere, feeling much colder and completely acoustic, almost as if the song represents the ending of autumn into winter, with the shedding of all the drums, vocals and electric guitars.
The drums throughout Autumn Aurora are also pretty impressive, enhancing the overall atmosphere and sound. An example of this is at the beginning of 'Summoning The Rain' when the drummer uses the toms abundantly, contributing to the atmosphere immensely and really helping the feeling of autumn landscapes to come though. Although in some parts of Autumn Aurora with the drums blast beats do occur, but they sound well placed. Like in ‘Sunwheel’ where they feel so powerful and skillfully played, just showing how if a band comes together with all the elements of one feeling, in this case autumn, they can create such an album like this.
Well, finally onto the vocals. They simply fit the music and atmosphere perfectly, having a certain amount of reverb, which to say the least sound superb. The vocals also have the right amount of presence, not getting in the way of the guitars or synths, which is the case with much black metal music. But simply enhancing the overall sound at times.
Overall, what can I say, this album is a superb listen and if you are looking for atmosphere-it has it in abundance and the skills in all areas to match. From the drums and synths. To the guitars and vocals. This band is superb and so is this album. Simply a must buy for black metal and would be my first choice for a person who has never listened to Drudkh.