After the release last summer of their seventh full length album Microcosmos by the French independent label Season of Mist, Ukrainian black metal outfit Drudkh ("wood" in Sanskrit) are now in the process of having their entire back catalogue reissued by the label.
Originally released in 2005 Lebedynyy Shlyakh or The Swan Road in English was the bands third album to combine their intense black metal furry with folk influences, while lyrically this one is based largely around some of the writings of influential Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko.
Clocking in just over forty minutes The Swan Road is a pretty lethal dose of atmospheric black metal as tracks such as "Eternal Sun", "Blood" "The Price of Freedom" and "Fate" offer the listener a barrage of furious, distorted, tremolo picked guitar work laced with melodic acoustic passages which help convey the feeling of emptiness and despair. This also isn't your typical bm affair that aims for the jugular with a straight ahead, all out brutal assault on every track either, opting instead to let the layered, almost hypnotic guitar rhythm's and some carefully placed keyboard arrangements drive these compositions. Likewise the drums also offer a decent amount of diversity as well and only a few songs go off into speedy, blast beat territory. The vocals although pretty much the standard, abrasive, raspy sounding delivery commonly found in this genre of metal, is nonetheless the perfect complement for these epic sounding excursions.
All in all The Swan Road is a very solid effort from beginning to end that offers the listener a good deal of variety. Be prepared for a splendid amount of raw, black metal savagery coupled with touches of cold, desolate atmospherics and folk elements.
2) Eternal Sun
4) Glare of 1768
5) The Price of Freedom
7) Song of Sich Destruction