Drudkh
Songs of Grief and Solitude


4.0
excellent

Review

by vanderb0b USER (63 Reviews)
September 9th, 2010 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Haunting, mesmerizing, and ethereal, Songs Of Grief And Solitude proves that Drudkh can do as much with an acoustic guitar as with its electric equivalent.

Drudkh was always a bit different from most of their black metal brethren. One could sit down alone, in a dark room, and listen to the likes of Autumn Aurora or Blood In Our Wells, and suddenly they would be transported into magical, mysterious worlds of singing cranes flying above the red-orange leaves of fall, reflected in calm lake-water. The standard black metal instruments were frequently joined by their folky counterparts, and the lyrics, usually consisting of Ukrainian poetry, would only reinforce this above-mentioned atmosphere. It, therefore shouldn’t have been very surprising when Drudkh released Songs Of Grief And Solitude, an album of instrumental, extremely atmospheric folk tunes. It also shouldn’t have been very surprising that Songs Of Grief And Solitude is quite a success.

Songs Of Grief And Solitude is an uncharacteristically restrained album, by Drudkh’s standards. Aside from the occasional sound of rain or waves hitting a shore, calm acoustic guitars and dancing woodwinds are all that the listener will find here. Usually, the guitars will play a short melody or chord progression and repeat it, with the occasional lead thrown in, as the woodwinds solo over this accompaniment, but, very frequently, the woodwinds are nowhere to be seen. This leads to the album’s biggest flaw: much of it is simply chords being strummed or arpeggios played ad nauseam. Sure, these chords and arpeggios might be nice and pretty, and on Drudkh’s past albums, where they were used sparingly in between heavier moments, they were absolutely stunning, but when they stand alone, they rarely become more than just nice, pretty and very repetitive.

Thankfully, these moments hurt the album, in actuality, much less than it may seem from the above description, something due entirely to the band’s skillful creation of an atmosphere. Sure, most of The Cranes Will Never Return Here is just a ten-or-twenty second-long melody repeated for three and a half minutes, and yet one can’t deny that the atmosphere generated by these few simple chords oozes over and absolutely drowns the listener. Indeed, this atmosphere almost entirely makes up for the repetitiveness of some of the melodies, and so this turns out to be much less a problem than it could have been.

Due to the limited instrumentation, Songs Of Grief seems to be a monochromatic composition at first listen, and, indeed, much of it will blend into a blur of acoustic chords, but upon repeated listens, one will discover that each song is subtly different from the others. While The Milky Way’s intertwining guitars are oddly spacey, The Cranes Will Never Return Here is mournful and nostalgic, and Why The Sun Is Sad is eerily happy and relaxed, and soon enough, each song will develop it’s own identity.

At first, Songs Of Grief And Solitude may seem to be a monotonous bore that pales in comparison to the band’s back catalogue, but repeated listens prove that it’s just as daring, atmospheric, and, ultimately, rewarding as nearly anything that came before. This may not be quite the same Drudkh that wrote Autumn Aurora, but it’s almost every bit as good.

4/5

Recommended Songs
Archaic Dance
Sunset In Carpathians
Grey-Haired Steppe



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user ratings (91)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
vanderb0b
September 9th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't normally do black metal reviews, but this needed one. Might do something else from the genre later, once I finish the Tull discography. Album is very good. I may have been somewhat biased in the album's favor, as I love folk music.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was thinking of reviewing this album. But you made a lot of my points. Good review dude and an awesome album.

Apollo
September 9th 2010


10340 Comments


great review and band

Apollo
September 9th 2010


10340 Comments


I like the way you balanced you're negative points with the positive ones, have a pos

Nagrarok
September 9th 2010


8264 Comments


Andrew, do not let me remind you that the Tull needs finishing first.

vanderb0b
September 9th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, everyone!

do not let me remind you that the Tull needs finishing first.


Yeah, I'll try to write the remaining reviews over the next few days. This week, I just didn't have the motivation to listen to the albums that I had left, with school starting and all of the teachers giving us a bunch of work already.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010


18740 Comments


Sweet review. Pos'd.

Digging: Monolake - Hong Kong

Jethro42
September 10th 2010


12492 Comments


vanderb0b, I'm about to finish PFM and after, I'd like to cover some Horslips or Strawbs. Feel free to do 'Myths and Legends', I'm not really inspired in doing that one.
Nice work on this once again, buddy. Love me some Drudkh

Zettel
September 10th 2010


599 Comments


I have just realized that you have been writing like crazy. 44 reviews? And you have the stomach to listen to the Faceless and give it a positive rating? Impressive.

Keep up the good work.

rasputin
September 10th 2010


14550 Comments


good review

i like this album, but it's a little blurgh sometimes, i dont normally listen to it often

vanderb0b
September 10th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks!

Feel free to do 'Myths and Legends', I'm not really inspired in doing that one.


Thanks, man. I'll definitely do that.

And you have the stomach to listen to the Faceless and give it a positive rating? Impressive.


Yup, their one of my guilty pleasures.

Hawks
December 29th 2010


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Decent album is decent.

SadAndHolyGlow
April 22nd 2013


1526 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Absolutely beautiful review.

Digging: Envy - A Dead Sinking Story



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