Review Summary: Forgotten legends you will not be.
Since the dawn of second-wave black metal, two subjects have been the main focus throughout the ‘kvltcure’: anti-Christianity/ all things held sacred by religious rite and countrymen’s symbolic praise of all things environmental in their homelands. It’s an interesting contrast to say the least; black metal bands forming such vicious, hatred attacks on all things that are created by man to control the masses and placing those symbolic teachings on the natural world that is controlled by Mother Nature. With this in mind, I ask the question “Are black metals finest musicians a bunch of hippies at heart?”. Remove the peace and love bull*** and focus on the environmental aspect. Do you see what I’m driving at? Atmospheric black metal feels like it falls into this category, as if these bands were trying to capture their natural worlds on tape. The beginning of the second-wave black metallers really focused on this concept, but also tied in the whole ‘we-hate-going-to-church’ crutch that gave them justification to commit hate crimes and destroy historical property. It’s almost as if they were revolting against the modernization that Christianity brought to their homelands and in turn, a hope of finding meaning in discovering the love that their ancestors once had for nature and the prosperity and peace that it brought to them. I would like to address that a lot of this hatred stems from ignorance and a lack of knowledge and therefore, I find it extremely difficult to take a majority of these bands seriously. Thank God we have bands such as Drudkh who skim through the ridiculousness and come up with albums such as Forgotten Legends
that feel more like a product of where they come from and less like a corpse-paint teenager who thinks grim and ‘kvlt’ are anti-religious movements and a wintery world walking hand in hand.
What makes Drudkh stand out from their contemporaries is that you can actually feel what is close to their heart and not what is close to their mind. They do not embrace moral stances and advocate specific values of how we should bring down a system and embrace our primitive roots, but rather bring us closer to the therapeutic qualities that the natural environment has been providing man since the dawn of time. One other thing about Forgotten Legends
that should be taken into account is that it doesn’t necessarily focus on a particular season of the year, you know, icy fields with snow covered trees and mountains topping the background during the coldest night of the year. There is an abundant amount of warmth to be felt throughout the disc despite the black metal prerequisites that are always succumbing to the icy, tremolo-picked guitar lines, raspy vocals, and blast beats galore. It’s the length of the songs that completely allows the band to explore atmosphere to the max, whether it’s the last eight minutes of “False Dawn” that simply melt away into panoramic sunsets by the lake or the usage of thunderstorms clapping violently on a hot summer night that comprises the entire last song on the disc, you will simply be enthralled from start to finish on this wondrous display of nature in it’s most sensational and calming affect. Because this is a remastered version that only became available in 09 (good luck finding original copies cheap!), Forgotten Legends
benefits greatly from the rich production that gives the bulk of this disc (only three songs) a very organic feel. The remastering benefits the atmosphere greatly as well, making it feel accessible and less like low-fi production that sounds as if someone was scratching fine china that so many black metal bands pride themselves on. Atmospheric black metal isn’t for the average music listener and it can be fairly hard to let yourself become entranced within the frame of a song, let alone trying to keep awake and not doze off, but Drudkh have somehow come up with a way to make everything seem memorable and less grating on your nerves.
By the time Forgotten Legends
is all said and done, you will feel refreshed and ready for more. It’s as if the band is trying to find solitude through their brand of atmospheric black metal, warming the heart instead of fuelling the mind with anger and anarchy. Drudkh’s debut is what I would like to call the new standard bearer for black metal, Third Wave Black Metal if want to go that far. Instead of going down the same old beaten path of hatred and destruction, Forgotten Legends
comes off as feeling in tune with their environmental surroundings and the answer to why we embrace therapeutic qualities in nature that predates religion within every single culture on earth. Ironically, Forgotten Legends
will not go down in black metal history as such.