Drudkh/Winterfylleth – Split 12″ & Drudkh – Eastern Frontier in Flames

drudkh_winterfyllethDrudkh/Winterfylleth – Thousands of Moons Ago/The Gates
As you read these words, chances are this limited split 12” by Drudkh and Winterfylleth is close to being out of print, if it isn’t already. It is a covers album with both Drudkh and Winterfylleth paying homage to Eastern European bands. Even though I find releases such as this are often forgettable, Both creative entities on this split have unleashed a fitting tribute, while somehow making each of these songs their own.

Roman Saenko is an insanely busy musician and musical visionary if you will that has turned out countless releases in many different projects, all of which have exhibited a level of quality that is inspiring and rare. It is common for a songwriter to start off their career with their most focused and inspired material as they have been working on it the longest and have the investment of time and heart behind it. Drudkh is likely his most coveted and popular band and as this project has unfolded, the albums started out great, and became amazing as the band has progressed. To this day, there are moments on Blood in our Wells and Estrangement that can bring a tear to my eyes if in the right frame of mind, and even though I see the latter release as his creative apex, Drudkh hasn’t unveiled a bad album. But, there has been a minor stylistic shift. Handful of Stars featured more of a polished production and less of an emotive impact for me which was always the defining characteristic that Drudkh had nurtured since their inception. Eternal Turn of the Wheel focused more on speed and aggression. Yes the overall sound was clearly Drudkh and the album enjoyable, but I found myself more drawn to the bands earlier works for the heady visions and emotive trip that I had come accustomed to when spending quality time with this music.

Thousands of Moons Ago is a tribute piece featuring covers from Hefeystos, Unclean and Sacrilegium, but Drudkh have approached this material as if it were their own making it feel stylistically like a nice mix of Drudk’s stylistic eras and a comfortable zone for them to inhabit. Tracks like Recidivus (A Sacrilegium song and my favorite on here) dig in with a lumbering and dreary atmosphere right along side tension inducing speed. The mix feels balanced, though I tend to gravitate towards those open moments of music when you can experience impressive/moving bass lines held aloft by such skillful and airy synth work. The harsh soul scaring vocals of Thurios (Also known for his work in Astrofaes, Hate Forest, Blood of Kingu and others) remain unique in their earthen/moss covered delivery and it helps to define the undeniable sound and identity of Drudkh. 3 songs for their side of the split and the attention to detail and interesting drum work/musical twists allows this material to hold up extremely well and inspire me to give the original bands covered, none of which I have heard before, my undivided attention.

Winterfylleth I haven’t kept as close of an eye on over the years, but do really enjoy the bands debut release, The Ghost of Heritage. The Mercian Sphere was the last album I have heard from this seemingly popular UK quartet, but that album felt like an awkward transition for them as they strived to reach out with different songwriting and structural ideas. If this split would be your introduction to Winterfylleth, it may be a tough place to start as their 1 song contribution to this album is The Gates, which is a Hate Forest cover. A well done Hate Forest cover though! It is nice hearing this track with a real drummer at the helm and more room ambience in the production. Winterfylleth really show their teeth on this song and come off as a powerful and moving black metal force to sit comfortably along side Drudkh with confidence as they have clearly done one of Roman’s songs sweet English justice. This is a very enjoyable split! -Marty
Season of Mist

drudkh-easternDrudkh – Eastern Frontier in Flames
Having trouble completing your Drudkh discography due to insane Ebay prices and having to endure inflated heating bills thanks to this accursed “Arctic Vortex” we have been enduring? Fear not thy cult completists, for the kind souls over at Season of Mist have done the legwork for you with Eastern Frontier in Flames!

This compilation contains tracks from the long out of print Anti-Urban 10” released by Supernal Music, The Slavonic Chronicles EP and finally the 3 tracks from Drudkh’s Thousands of Moons Ago side of the Winterfylleth split. Nothing really new or interesting to report with this release, other than it’s a worthy purchase if you have ever wandered the woodlands with Drudkh’s sounds enchanting your every footstep. 7 tracks in all, I was particularity thrilled to get this since I somehow missed out on ever hearing The Slavonic Chronicles material. So there you have it… go forth and consume! -Marty
Season of Mist

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~ by martyworm on January 8, 2014.

One Response to “Drudkh/Winterfylleth – Split 12″ & Drudkh – Eastern Frontier in Flames”

  1. Ah yes, great news! I pretty much worship a lot of the black art Saenko and Thurios have created and new (although it is old) Drudkh material is always welcome. Totally agree with you on those unique vocals, they’re so powerful they’re scary!

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