Drudkh
Microcosmos


4.0
excellent

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2009 | 256 replies | 24,557 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: a return to form.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

2007’s Estrangement was yet another observation by the allusive Ukrainian group Drudkh, and although it furthered their standing as one of the only black metal bands who can incorporate folk into metal without coming off as sickeningly lame, it did not retain appeal to the extent of earlier works, namely their seminal Blood in Our Wells. Obviously having learnt from their lapse in consistency, Microcosmos delivers on all levels; the classic Drudkh style of intertwining melodies interspersed with clever acoustic interludes is exemplary, with the added benefit of tight and well formulated song-writing emphasizing the album’s poignancy.

The four songs that comprise the brunt of the album are book ended by two short instrumental pieces, which both open and close the album on a gentle note. The in-between however, is a combination of aggressive riffing and despondent melody, although not without the added fragility that is a given with Drudkh. ’Distant Cries of Cranes’ immediately throws the listener into the album’s bleak atmosphere, and the variation herein, particularly the deconstructed interlude towards the end in which the bass leads the way, keeps the song undeniably interesting and on edge.

Despite having already heard it outside the confines of the album, ‘Everything Unsaid Before’ fits in perfectly with the album’s overall quality, opening with a harrowing lead that fluidly tapers out into the structure of the song. ‘Decadence’ and ‘Ars Poetica’ have no shortage of Drudkh’s subtle touch of frailty, and one would be hard pressed to proclaim any one of the four songs as significantly better than the others.

What comes naturally to Drudkh, and is perhaps portrayed more clearly on their ‘better’ records, is their compositional cohesion – the simple amalgamation of melody and technicality (or really, the lack thereof) is remarkably pleasant on Microcosmos, and the somewhat lengthy tracks go past without a moment’s notice. Pick any melancholic lead on the album (or even their shred-like solo on ‘Distant Cries of Cranes’), and the context in which it is used is relatively perfect – it could not be bettered in any shape or form. The aforementioned lead in ‘Everything Unsaid Before’ is a fantastic example of the band’s exemplary song-writing, where everything gels together without a single hitch in ambiance.

From the slow and mournful tone of ‘Decadence', to the somewhat unrestrained and folksier feel of ‘Ars Poetica’ and the unrelenting nature of ‘Everything Unsaid Before’, you can be sure that Microcosmos does not drift off into the mundane in its musical conveyance. It could be argued that the understated drone influence more commonly associated with Drudkh’s music is somewhat diminished on their latest record; this may put off long time fans, but it would be a hard stretch to say that their music has changed very much at all, or at least for the worse. Nevertheless, one should not expect the hypnotic and tranquil feel of Drudkh’s music to be absent – it is still here, and in full force.

It comes as a relief that Microcosmos is so well put together – by this stage, weaker bands would undeniably be struggling to put out material rivaling their best work. Drudkh clearly state with this record that they are not one of these weaker bands, nor do they feel the need to drop into the confines of mediocrity to keep their name afloat. Microcosmos, as mentioned earlier, delivers on all levels – as a black metal record, as one which incorporates the band’s signature folk influences, and as an affecting piece of music. Perhaps not their best work, but the album will no doubt appease fans both old and new. Highly recommended.



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user ratings (220)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mordecai.
June 22nd 2009



8277 Comments


Good review, i guess i'll check this out. Just a small grammatical error i noticed:

From the slow and mournful tone of ‘Decadence, to the somewhat unrestrained and folksier feel of ‘Ars Poetica’ and the unrelenting nature of ‘Everything Unsaid Before’,

should be a ' after Decadence

rasputin
June 22nd 2009



14540 Comments


good eyes, fixxed.

McP3000
June 22nd 2009



3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cant wait for this album

Prometherion
June 22nd 2009



208 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I will most definitely check this out. Great review.

Zip
June 22nd 2009



5312 Comments


Oh sweet, I forgot about this, going to get this when I get home!

Athom
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2009



17204 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

slays for days.

jingledeath
June 22nd 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

super goodies

lobby
June 22nd 2009



1251 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

pat on the back, in the nut sack

BallsToTheWall
June 22nd 2009



44194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great to see this reviewed. Ace review. I thought you had it rated at 3.5 though.

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rasputin
June 22nd 2009



14540 Comments


I did.

FistfulOfSteel
June 22nd 2009



894 Comments


id like to get into these guys, any idea where i should start?

Prometherion
June 22nd 2009



208 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Get Blood In Our Wells. That's probably their best.

Wizard
June 22nd 2009



19343 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh man, I can't wait to hear this. My exposure to these guys is limited but from what I've heard, I was really impressed. Review just made me want to purchase this even more.

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Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
June 22nd 2009



7023 Comments


The music is good but the production makes it hard to enjoy.

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FistfulOfSteel
June 22nd 2009



894 Comments


any similarity to negura bunget?

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
June 22nd 2009



7023 Comments


Actually I take back what I said, the production isn't bad. I just wish that the folk instruments were in the forefront instead of blending in with the guitars. I was expecting something that sounded like Orphaned Land gone black metal, and although this isn't what I ended up hearing, it's a good listen.

rasputin
June 22nd 2009



14540 Comments



id like to get into these guys, any idea where i should start?

As Prometherion said, Blood in our Wells is probably the best, but this album I think would make an excellent start, it's very easy to get into.

mx
Moderator
June 22nd 2009



733 Comments


What does 'observation' mean here?

"2007’s Estrangement was yet another observation by the allusive Ukrainian group Drudkh"

rasputin
June 22nd 2009



14540 Comments


A musical observation. I sort of stole the idea from Opeth's liner notes, in a few of their records they say stuff like 'Still Life is the fourth observation by Opeth'.

KYZAR
June 22nd 2009



513 Comments


looks good



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