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|2.||Summoning the Rain / Glare of Autumn|
|4.||Wind of the Night Forests|
|5.||The First Snow|
Review for 'Drudkh - Autumn Aurora'
Ukraine, the largest country in Europe, is known for being home to endless forests, steppes, rivers, lakes and mountains stretching for as far as the eye can see. The best part is that you don't actually need to go there in order to experience this, since it has all been conveniently condensed into audio format by Drudkh, Ukraine's most renowned Black Metal band, on what is arguably their best album ever, Autumn Aurora.
Any decent Pagan Black Metal album will pride themselves in summoning you right into the heart of nature, and Autumn Aurora does this more than successfully right from the opening seconds of the introductory track "Fading". Of course, you would already be right at the heart of nature if you had given your imagination a chance to explore the album's cover art.
This album, and particularly the album's introduction are a monument to the potential diversity of Black Metal. Next comes the album's most memorable track, or rather pair of tracks, "Glare Of Autumn" & "Summoning The Rain", which merge together to produce a true Black Metal anthem which stands out due to the fantastic rhythmic drumming and gradual incorporation of layered guitars, although the lyrics themselves will remain something of a mystery for anyone who does not understand Ukrainian. This 11 minute masterpiece alone proves why Drudkh are one of the best in their field of expertise, with a careful introduction of each instrument gently building up the atmosphere. The final result when all instruments are combined is nothing short of spectacular.
In fact, "Glare Of Autumn" being so memorable makes the rest of the album slightly more difficult to remember, which is rather unfortunate because every one of the songs present on Autumn Aurora each rightfully deserves to be remembered for it's own merits. For instance, "Sunwheel" starts off with a very uplifting and folkish melody which makes one feel right at home in the middle of some ancient pagan celebration of the Autumnal Equinox, although I may just making a fool of myself and pagan Ukraine never actually celebrated such a thing... Whatever the case may be, the feeling of pagan heritage is impossibe to ignore.
"Wind Of The Forests" is the next song on the album, and contrasts perfectly to "Glare Of Autumn / Summoning The Rain", with an equally catchy theme but with a slightly more melancholic atmosphere.
Finally, Autumn Aurora comes to a dignified close with the purely instrumental 9-minute track "The First Snow", although to be honest, contrary to what the song title would have you imagine, the song still retains much of the album's golden autumnal splendour right until the end when the unmistakable sounds of icy winds finally make their appearance. It seems to end all too soon, but the "Play Again" option we sometimes take for granted saves the day once again.
All in all, Autumn Aurora is an amazing album that takes your imagination on an unforgettable journey across endless Carpathian mountains, over giant lakes and through epic forests, and it's all done with just a couple of electric guitars, drums, passionate vocals and some well placed synths. It is really one of a kind, and Drudkh's finest recording to date.
What other albums sound similar to this?
While Pagan Black Metal albums are considerably easy to come across and enjoy, it takes a special breed of Black Metal band to come up with something of the quality and atmosphere presented on Drudkh's Autumn Aurora. Obviously, Drudkh themselves are perfectly capable, and offer an array of some of the finest Pagan Black Metal albums you will ever hear. Almost every single Drudkh release is worth listening to, and the best albums for beginning your adventure would be their debut album Forgotten Legends from 2003, followed by The Swan Road from 2005. Other excellent Drudkh albums are Blood In Our Wells from 2006 and Microcosmos from 2009.
Other Pagan Black Metal albums from bands that play a similar style to Drudkh would be Battlefields or Purity by fellow Ukrainians Hate Forest, as well as Walknut's Graveforests And Their Shadows album, as well as Nargaroth's Jahreszeiten, Herbstleyd and Geliebte Des Regens albums. Also be sure to check out all albums by Negură Bunget, Wolves In The Throne Room, Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth, Nhor, Alda, Dark Forest, Kladovest, Dragobrath, Falls Of Rauros, Zuriaake, Marțolea, Dämmerfarben and ColdWorld.
In a nutshell...
In today's suburban monotony many would just love to take the occasional walk in the forest and feel the fresh air of the mountains, but if time and travelling costs are the major issues, then Drudkh's Autumn Aurora is the next best thing. Ukraine are well known for producing some truly mesmerizing Pagan Black Metal albums, and Drudkh's Autumn Aurora is the pinnacle of this elite regional subgenre.
Site Admin - BestBlackMetalAlbums.com
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