Drudkh
Eternal Turn of the Wheel


3.5
great

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
February 28th, 2012 | 89 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Drudkh exchange confusion for focus, but in doing so they lose a bit of what made them so exceptional in the past

In what may be considered a hasty retreat spawned by the backlash in the wake of 2010’s Handful of Stars, Drudkh are back right where everyone expects them to be. This backpedaling can be seen in the name of the album – Eternal Turn of the Wheel is lifted directly from the third track of their debut Forgotten Legends, so it hearkens back to a time when Drudkh were still doing their thing, their style of folky atmospheric black metal that made them a name everyone in the black metal world was familiar with. If anything, Eternal Turn of the Wheel is Drudkh being themselves, rather than flailing around in unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory like a person suddenly submerged beneath the chill waters as the ice below their feet gives way. Its potency is a concern – this doesn’t feel like the Drudkh of old – so it is a legitimate concern as to whether or not they will ever recover fully from their stumble that was Handful of Stars, but as far as I can tell Eternal Turn of the Wheel is proof that Drudkh are still in tune with what made them good in the first place.

It’s no Autumn Aurora or Blood in our Wells, but it is Drudkh in their comfort zone. Much like Microcosmos injected new life into the band’s sound after a volley of rather unorthodox releases, Eternal Turn of the Wheel is the sound of a band getting back on their feet. They layers of guitar and bass wander around trance-inducing riffs that bring me right back to the days of old, despite their inherent banality that leaves the longer tunes like “Breath Of Cold Black Soil” growing stale by closing time. Much like a rusty hinge, it takes Drudkh a few swings to flow smoothly. It is no wonder, then, that the album's final two tracks are its best. “Farewell to Autumn’s Sorrowful Birds” comes closest in achieving true glory that would belong up there with Drudkh’s best songs – the fact that it is the most varied piece on the album plays no small part in this distinction. Core elements to Drudkh’s aesthetic are still there: tangible bass that is as critical to the atmosphere of “Night Woven of Snow, Winds and Grey-Haired Stars” as it was to songs like “Distant Cries of Cranes” from Microcosmos; vocals that have a natural, human element to them instead of being distorted shrieks that fit as well with the music as orange juice mixes with milk. However, it is hard to say that Drudkh are reliving their best moments.

Eternal Turn of the Wheel can almost be forgiven for what it doesn’t do well in relation to, say, Microcosmos because of what it does do well in relation to Handful of Stars. It doesn’t get off that easy, though, because there are qualms to be had with the record. For one, it does precious little to distinguish itself among a venerable back catalogue of releases that continuously showed themselves to be among the best of the best in the black metal world. Even taken as an individual album, it harbors moments of stagnation instrumentally that need to be spruced up in order to warrant replayability. “Breath of Cold Black Soil” seems destitute compared to “Farewell to Autumn's Sorrowful Birds” or the lively, desperate and sublime conclusion to “When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls” – a track that could be labeled similarly desolate had that outro been absent.

Thankfully, Drudkh have exercised enough subtlety of mind to reign in the running time of Eternal Turn of the Wheel to more or less the perfect length – 37 minutes – given what is present on this album. Walking away, I am left with a sound assurance that Drudkh are back on track, despite their obvious rustiness and songwriting stagnation. It’s not as magical as Autumn Aurora or Microcosmos, but it is nothing short of enjoyable. There are moments here worth returning for time and again, but not much to put Eternal Turn of the Wheel in the same level of esteem as its distant predecessors. Roman Saenko and company are back in familiar territory, and for that I am glad, because when Drudkh are on point they are easily one of the best black metal bands in the world today, and even when they stumble a little bit these Ukrainians prove themselves to be a band that demands your attention.



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user ratings (132)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
rmill3r (4)
Metal is meant to be an encompassing experience. And if it weren't for a few formulaic asides, "Eter...

hyperi0n STAFF (5)
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.......


Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


16448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

derp

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


18737 Comments


And the Creator speaks to man, but doesn't use any words. At the flowing dawn, the Universe represents itself and eternity's all passion and beauty flows into Evermore. The hearts will dies, love will drowns in moments and nature conjures with the pulsation of dying stars. Eternal turn of the wheel… When the wind cries, the tears of Doves will be the redemption of our souls.

Digging: Monolake - Hong Kong

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


16448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and life goes on

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


18737 Comments


The eternal turn of the wheel.......

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


18737 Comments


all jokes aside review hits the nail right on the head

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


16448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks bro i mean i thought your review was better but hey

Funeralopolis
February 28th 2012


11617 Comments


I did too

Digging: Black Milk - If There's a Hell Below

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


18737 Comments


awww im touched

holy shit it got a lot of negs since i last checked hahahaha

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


16448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

people just don't understand

CaptainDooRight
February 28th 2012


30031 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good rev bra

Digging: Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

Alrightmax
February 28th 2012


112 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh good, this out.
I realize that sounded sarcastic, but it's not.

Ire
February 28th 2012


41805 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

good review try to stay metal

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


16448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the indie will not affect me


solidarity

tarkus
February 28th 2012


5560 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review

Wizard
February 28th 2012


19549 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

despite their obvious rustiness and songwriting stagnation.

Which is preciously why I think everyone has this rated way to fucking high. This is ok in some parts at best but my fucking word, has this band stripped down their sound. Wonderfully done review though, you make me want to like this album.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


16448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That 2.5 makes me cry Karl :'(

Yes, it does get boring in some parts (as I say in the review) but I really don't think it's bad enough to warrant serious criticism.

Wizard
February 28th 2012


19549 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Put the rating down to a 3 and we can meet halfway and get on with our lives! hahahaa

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2012


18737 Comments


this has some genuinely sweet parts in it tho wiz

paxman
February 29th 2012


4084 Comments


Good review, but in my opinion they'll never top Blood In Our Wells

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
February 29th 2012


16448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So, this had about an 8-hour feature time. I don't know who threw all those albums up at around the same time, but I'll get this back on near the end of the week.

Hahaha no worries Trey, it seems like the entire staff posted a review last night.

bitw isn't even their best album

Agreed, Autumn Aurora is their best.



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