Blood In Our Wells
posted on 7/2006 By:
Another year, another excellent Drudkh album. Their fourth release, Blood In Our Wells, continues to affirm their ever growing legacy and validates their well-deserved admiration amongst black metal's most discerning fans. While stylistically similar to their back catalog, Blood In Our Wells is home to some refinement and expansion of Drudkh's naturalist black metal, and should be pleasing to those who have been bearing witness to this band's subtle, but dogged forward progression.
What first strikes me about this band is how Drudkh have taken a step forward, by taking a step back. In reverting to the warmer, more luminescent production style of 2003's Autumn Aurora, Drudkh are better able to rescue some of the more cunning intricacies of their sound from obscurity - a slight problem for some with last year's fuzzier Swan Road. The band takes advantage of this modest, but complimentary mix with some of their most rewarding, and quite frankly - heaviest - songs to date. "Eternity," which relies on simple, but gorgeous and evocative minor chord riffing resolves in a thundering collaboration between guitar, drum, and bass guitar; the type of which is a true treat to listen to for someone who is subject to a bunch of treble heavy modern black metal. "Solitude" and "Furrows of the Gods" display the band's expected mastery at crafting moving black metal from strident chord play, but also show off a stronger focus on the lead guitar. These tasteful compliments to the band's rousing strumming combine with confident and expressive drumming to account for a more satisfying and well rounded listen than most guitar-centric black metal bands can offer.
There isn't much to say on the negative side. However, it's fair to say that despite some expansion of the peripheral elements of their sound, Drudkh have fell into a bit of a holding pattern from a songwriting standpoint. I'd like to attribute this to the band having found an approach that works for them, and now working on perfecting it.
This is the kind of heavy metal you can sink your teeth into. On Blood In Our Wells' cohesive performances and focused songwriting combine in a way that they rarely do, for most bands, and result in one of the best albums released this year. While not for those in the market for something technically brutal, brutally sick or generally sleek and modern; Drudkh's latest is absolutely must-hear for most metal fans looking for substantial listening.
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Eternal Turn of the Wheel
Handful Of Stars
The Swan Road