Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Drudkh - 'A Furrow Cut Short' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 20/04/2015
Label:  Season of Mist

‘A Furrow Cut Short’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Cursed Sons I
2. Cursed Sons II
3. To the Epoch of Unbowed Poets
4. Embers
5. Dishonour I
6. Dishonour II
7. Till Foreign Ground Shall Cover Eyes

Drudkh is:

Roman Sayenko | guitars
Thurios | guitar, vocals
Krechet | bass
Vlad | drums, keyboards


‘Honour Valour Pride’ is not only the album title of Bolt Thrower’s 2002 release, but the three words that capture the heart and soul of Ukrainian black metal band Drudkh. Oppression, heritage and homeland are themes that bands draw upon all the time, especially in black metal, however Drudkh have a serious connection with these themes; sadly due to the ongoing bloody struggle with Russia. Letting their frustration out in a creative manner has led to latest release ‘A Furrow Cut Short’ following up on 2012’s ‘Eternal Turn of the Wheel’. Having had two releases in between that, a split with Winterfylleth and a compilation of traditional folk songs called ‘One and All Together for Home’ (again including Winterfylleth, as well as Primordial, Kampfar and others), they are a band with an impressive discography that continues to grow. 

Part of the allure with Drudkh is their shroud of mystery, wanting to be understood through their music alone they do not partake in interviews or any form of press. A commendable decision, the frills and gimmicks are not needed or wanted here, just authentic black metal.

For me Drudkh are one of the most pure and organic black metal bands of this era.
‘A Furrow Cut Short’ is one of their most emotive releases to date. The soaring melodies and fluidity of the chord progressions is uplifting yet melancholic, particularly with the context of the Ukrainian conflict in mind. This is an album that resonates deeper with each listen, becoming almost a cathartic experience. ‘Cursed Sons 1 and 2flow with such ease and are so epic in sound; this is Drudkh doing what they do best. Reflecting earlier albums like the incredible ‘Autumn Aurora’ with its melodic power, the atmosphere evokes a sense of escapism from day to day drudgery. 

It seems strange describing a black metal album as beautiful and emotional, as the connotations for black metal are typically more grim and frosty. However that’s a boundary that Drudkh have crossed, expressing their own style, merging the extreme with the power and beauty their music reflects. The focus on Ukrainian poetry and folk themes go hand in hand with the sweeping melodies, conjuring images of breath taking landscapes as well as portraying an innate pride of their homeland. ‘A Furrow Cut Short’ is undoubtedly up there with ‘Autumn Aurora’ and ‘Blood in our Wells’; albums that are possibly the best to have emerged from the newer wave of ‘atmospheric’ black metal. Nothing is more satisfying than when one of your favourite bands releases potentially the best album of their career over ten years on. So clear a spot at the top of your album of the year list because ‘A Furrow Cut Short’ is it.

Words by: Heather Blewett

‘A Furrow Cut Short’ is available here

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