So it looks like Drudkh put out another album. These enigmatic Ukrainians first made waves in the black metal underground in 2003 with Forgotten Legends and followed that release with 2004’s roundly solid Autumn Aurora, and despite the odd gimmick or two (lyrics from Ukrainian poets, melodies from Ukrainian folk songs, copycat Alcestisms, ill-advised post-jazzy-whatever explorations), they’ve basically put out the same album ever since. Eternal Turn of the Wheel was billed as a return to form after the previous experiments, but ends up being almost completely indistinguishable from any other third-rate Burzum ripoff’s catalogue. There’s the requisite windswept acoustic finger-plucked intro, long passages of tremolo picking and blast beats bolstered by atmospheric synthesizers, field recordings of forests as interludes – it’s very paint-by-numbers as far as atmospheric BM is concerned, trying its best to conjure visions of windswept snow-blanketed forests and starry nights but only succeeding in, well, nothing. Each of the four songs on the album (discounting the immediately forgettable acoustic intro) has the theme of one of the four seasons, with evocative titles like “Night Woven of Snow, Winds and Grey-haired Stars” or “Farewell to Autumn’s Sorrowful Birds.” But for the life of me, if you put a gun to my head and asked me to identify each one based on the riffs alone, you’d have no choice but to pull the trigger.

This was one of those records that I passively enjoyed while doing homework, but found no reason to put back on when it was finished. I actually forgot to put on the next track at several points – if I’m distracted by my Spanish homework when listening to an album instead of the other way around, the artist has utterly failed.* Listening to the album without distraction also yielded diminishing returns, as the music was pleasant enough I guess, but as I stated before I literally cannot remember a single distinctive riff on the album – all that stands out are the atmospheric interludes, which I could easily replicate by going into the forest and walking around in the snow for a few seconds. There was nothing in the record that reached out and grabbed me by the throat and forced me to listen, which is precisely what I listen to metal for. I have no feelings – good or ill – on this album, and in my mind that’s the worst condemnation I can give to a record. You’d be better off with some Agalloch, Altar of Plagues or Wolves in the Throne Room if you’re looking for something to bring out into the forest in the middle of winter, but you might like Eternal Turn of the Wheel if you’re a fan of the band and don’t mind their continued career of musical stagnation. With this release, Drudkh has joined the faceless legion of post-Alcest blackgaze bands that you might have heard of in passing online a few years ago, downloaded on Mediafire, listened to once and enjoyed well enough, then completely forgot about. And that’s a damn shame.

Artist: Drudkh
Album: Eternal Turn of the Wheel
Label: Season of Mist
Release Date: February 24th, 2012
Rating: 2.5/5

*Si puedo aprender y completar mi tarea mientras que escuchar un disco de música metalica al mismo tiempo, ¿cuál es el punto de escuchar el disco? iNo sabría cómo decirlo!

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