Drudkh – Їм часто сниться капіж (They Often See Dreams About the Spring) (Album Review)

Drudkh –  Їм часто сниться капіж (They Often See Dreams About the Spring
Released: 9th March, 2018

Drudkh Lineup —

Roman Sayenko // Guitars
Thurios // Guitar & Vocals
Krechet // Bass
Vlad // Drums & Keyboards

Drudkh Online —

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Bandcamp

Drudkh are quite the talking point. In a world that prides itself on invading privacy, Drudkh plainly reject that notion. Forever shrouded in mystery, the unit conjure up release after release of progressively thinking black metal, showing the breadth of not only their influence, but their influence on others. Over the last four years alone, they’ve released just as many split albums, all of them tonally different and frankly, a joy to listen to. So, after all the work and exploration the band has done, it is now time to return to their own singular body of work and show us where their pilgrimage has taken them.

 

The mainstays of Drudkh’s music has always been their grandiose songwriting skills and their ability to craft an atmosphere that feels like you’re wont to suffocate under a thick blanket of snow in a lonely Ukrainian forest. This album has all of those things, but it is a marked departure from their catalogue of Microcosmos and backwards. Like their newer records, They Often See Dreams About the Spring borrows from a more Nordic, second wave style akin to Burzum or even Winterfylleth, but never so simple as those. Despite this shift, the identity that Drudkh have created for themselves never gets buried in their influences, atmosphere and creativity solidifies around every facet of their songwriting.

The first track shows the immediacy of the changes. The guitars and bass sound heavier, yet crisper than A Furrow Cut Short, but haven’t lost any of the tremolo wonderment that characterises their compositions. The slower sections of their music are not lost to the aether though; the second track has a guitar section so beautiful it makes me want to weep while walking through an empty field bursting with new life. However, for the most part, They Often See Dreams About the Spring cycles between artistic virtuosity and your staple black metal sound, up until the last track. ‘Bilyavyi Den’ Vtomyvsya I Prytykh’ feels like the climax that the album wholly deserves. Sporting a riff that smacks of contemporary Mgła, the album ends on a climax that shakes the ice from the mountaintops – an avalanche that buries all in its wake.

However, there is one thing that hasn’t changed a whit, and that is Thurios’ pure angst and bleak vocal delivery. I don’t speak Ukrainian (unfortunately) so I cannot tell you what he’s saying but my oh my does it sound like poetry. At times, the vocals sound heavily like a restrained Attila Csihar, not so experimental and crazy, but with all of the high range and emotion. The vocals are the most impressive when they’re coupled with a relatively standard Drudkh riff and the tonal keyboards of Vlad, a soaring progression of chords, electronics and relentless strumming lets Thurios really take the limelight and dictate the way in which the listener will envision themselves freezing to death.

 

Whilst this album is amazing in its own right, there are a few drawbacks. Mostly to do with expectations I would posit. Drudkh have always strove to craft an atmosphere more than anything else (it seems to me anyway) so there is marked lack of truly memorable moments, be they guitar, vocals or drums. However, in saying that, it takes a true artist with a love of their work to realise how everything fits together to create something bigger than a build up to just one memorable moment. They Often See Dreams About the Spring, to me, seem a pragmatic synthesis of their atmospheric past, and their forays into more recent traditionally blackened sounds.

Whether you’re walking through a moonlit field with heads of wheat snatching at your clothing, or shuffling through the boreal tundra with nothing but the skin of a fallen deer to keep you company, Drudkh will accompany your travels perfectly. Or, if by a higher chance, you’re not in those situations, turn off the lights, open your windows and let the sorrowful and brooding soundscape of They Often See Dreams About the Spring wash over you.

drudkh - They Often See Dreams About the Spring

Drudkd – They Often See Dreams About the Spring track List —

1. Nakryta Neba Burym Dakhom
2. U Dakhiv Irzhavim Kolossyu
3. Vechirniy Smerk Okutuye Kimnaty
4. Za Zoreyu Scho Striloyu Syaye
5. Bilyavyi Den’ Vtomyvsya I Prytykh

Rating: 4/5
They Often See Dreams About the Spring is out now via Season of Mist. Get your copy here.
Review by — Dylonov Tomasivich

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