Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

A Resounding Failure - 20%

hailmarduk666, March 31st, 2013

What we have here is a proverbial hiccup in the musical path paved by Drudkh. This release is not very important not only because of its shortness, but also because Drudkh releases an album a year. I don't understand the purpose of this other than the possibility to show fans the true musical direction of the band. Perhaps it was Drudkh saying that the acoustic release previous to this was just a one-time thing. Nevertheless, I was certainly not about to fork over an exorbitant amount of money to get this shipped over from Europe, but it just so happened I received it a couple years later as an insert in the "Microcosmos" limited edition wood box set. Once I listened to it, I was extremely glad that I didn't eventually go against my better judgement and order it, in order to obtain all their material.

The first track is an extremely boring, snail paced instrumental. It is the same riff regurgitated over and over again for 7 excruciating minutes. The drumming is bass kick- snare- bass kick- snare the entire way through with no variation, and is mind-numbing in its plodding pace. The second track is much more upbeat. We at least have a bit of variation regarding riffs and drums, but the track lacks power and an interesting riff. Instead it is an extremely high pitched riff and the only time it varies is in the last minute and a half where the song transitions to another plodding riff similar in tone and pace as that found in the first song. There is also no closure to the EP, the last track just fades out over the course of 2 seconds and it's over.

Whether or not this was an attempt for Drudkh to assuage the fans and assure them that they didn't transition to an acoustic folk band, it is poor songwriting and poor production that dooms this recording. The guitar quality is fuzzy and extremely overrun with treble, which can be ear piercing at times. The drumming is boring and one dimensional which is exacerbated by the fact that it sounds like Vlad is beating on a hollow piece of wood, while the bass drum is nearly drowned out by the guitars. Saenko's vocals are placed back in the mix, and are also very weak due to the guitars. If there was any synthesizer used, it was relegated to background hiss that is impossible to differentiate from the guitars.

Overall, this is a poor quality EP in both musical content and production. If you can't get this as an inset for a different album, it's not worth getting. If you are a perfectionist who needs to obtain the entire discography of Drudkh, you have been forewarned that this is pretty bad.

Drudkh - Anti-Urban - 40%

ConorFynes, December 12th, 2011

Drudkh have always been a band that advocates a return to a simpler way of life, one that discards modern day conveniences and technology in favour of what they consider to be a more fulfilling existence in nature. This two song EP 'Anti-Urban' brings their message to the forefront, and delivers an afterthought of music to fans who may want an extra dose of the atmospheric black metal style that Drudkh plays. When it comes down to musical quality however, I find that 'Anti-Urban' is a fairly underwhelming and lacking experience, and while their style is nicely touched upon here, the music never gives enough depth to be worth more than a spin or two before moving on to better things that the band has produced.

'Anti-Urban' is a two track EP, and the first of these is 'Fallen Into Oblivion', an instrumental track that mostly consists of a melancholic melody getting looped and looped. It is a pleasant melody and even beautiful, but the track does not feel as if it builds up to much more than it is from the very beginning. The drums are simplistic and the way the guitars are played seems uninspired. 'Ashes' follows the same sound that 'Fallen Into Oblivion' started, but adds some ambient black metal rasps. They are mixed so low that it might as well have been another instrumental, but 'Ashes' does flow a little better than the first track... that is, until it just cuts out randomly, and then the EP is done. Drudkh has done some incredible things, but then, there are EPs like this (and albums like the bland 'Songs Of Grief & Soltitude) which make me wonder where their heads are at sometimes.

'Anti-Urban' is not necessarily bad, but just a tad unnecessary and uninspired.

A very good little EP - 90%

MaDTransilvanian, February 11th, 2008

Being one of the most productive black metal bands ever, Drudkh decided, after releasing two full albums in 2006, to take it more easily and record a two-song EP. Of course, like most of Drudkh’s new releases, Anti-Urban is plagued by what looks like an awful lot of impatient children who can’t seem to manage to listen to just over 13 minutes of music. Sure, this takes a minimal amount of patience to listen to, but that should be a given to people who review music here.

Consisting of only two tracks, this 10" EP starts with the instrumental track Fallen Into Oblivion, which is indeed very slow. This lack of speed seems a little excessive though…it almost seems artificial in nature, as though there were something wrong with the vinyl. It’s also very repetitive and takes a certain mood to listen to, but is nevertheless a good track, just not up to the level of most Drudkh songs. The production is on par with Drudkh’s usual sound quality, although maybe slightly rawer, and the guitar work is excellent, as is the drumming.

The other side of this EP consists of Ashes, a much more ‘normal’ black metal song and one which closely resembles Drudkh’s usual style. The instrumental quality is about equal to the Fallen Into Oblivion although the tempo is much faster here. Roman Blagih’s vocal style is of the usual Drudkh low-in-the-mix type, and he delivers a good performance as always.

Glancing at the EP’s artwork, one can understand the concept behind this relatively easily. Drudkh have always been greatly inspired by nature and the old pagan values of living close to the land, contrasting with the present urban societies in which we live. The WW2-era destruction of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv is a perfect way to show both the disadvantages of urbanism and to express love for Ukraine by the nationalist Drudkh. This is truly a great EP, worth acquiring for fans of Drudkh, and whose only real flaw is the first track’s excessive slowness but even that doesn’t make it weak by any means. Oh, and what the hell is a medium-sized black metal fan? That sounds like the difference between small, medium or large fries at your local *insert lame fastfood restaurant here*.
I listen to Drudkh so I'm small!

I guess I'm a rookie - 93%

jordman, November 16th, 2007

Only bad thing about this release is that it isn't long enough. But hey, this band has been hard at work releasing constant material, so its all good. Roman is one of the true under-appreciated geniuses of metal, and I guess it makes sense given where he hails from, Eastern European bands always seem to fly under everyone's radar. His roles in Hate Forest and Drudkh present two unique, similar yet totally opposite, musical expressions of heavy fucken metal. The forest is dark, cold, brooding and lethal. Drudkh could be compared to Woods Of Ypres, Metal of nature, the summer, etc.

This is the sort of music hated by the true rookies of metal, those who worship themselves and their own elitist opinion of the music. These tunes are reaeeaally easy to play, but are not easy to write. Normal song structures are out the door like always, but the first track is played at a doom pace, bringing to mind a less depressing Nortt. The riffs whirl around as the pace remains the same, but there is something about the way this is written that is very different from your typical black metal repetitive fuzz. The distortion does not take over, it just makes it heavier, and the awesomeness of each riff is not lost.

Ashes intros with a riff that reminds me of Jimmy Page, but of course the way its played is in that signature atmospheric Drudkh style that draws you in. The vocals help achieve this, aching but stifled behind the rest of the music so they aren't taking over at all. The changes are very subtle but the song builds up in energy as it goes, and the cymbal work helps accentuate this. The song then explodes into nothingness near the end, with a slow outro bringing back the pace of the first part.

This whole album reminds me of a post-rock song fucked around with and puzzled together. The first half is slowness, followed by a second half that builds upon that slowly only to revive the mood from the first part. A fantastic listen if your attention span is greater than that of a child.

Another Masterpiece From These Black Metal Masters - 95%

orionmetalhead, September 10th, 2007

Drudkh is undeniably one of the most accomplished and consistent black metal band in the scene today. With five albums already released, Roman Saenko has clearly proven his ability to craft truly emotional black metal to a degree unmatched save for few current bands. This 10" EP proves his ability even further. Roman has written two songs for a medium which doesn't normally suit the epic scope of past Drudkh masterpieces such as "False Dawn" or "When The Flame Turns To Ashes." Even though the songs are limited in time, somehow they elude this seemingly inescapable restriction. "Fallen Into Oblivion" seems to last for hours, a constant wavering spiral into depressive depths.

The production is as crisp as one could expect from Roman; all his work is accompanied by an incredibly deep and dense tone. The guitars are unconquerable, standing tall and thick, like a bastion of immense size that would make the ancients in Jericho envious. Layer upon layer of subtle details are built up to give the music an absolutely magical quality. The drums are also well produced and crisp and offer little to complain about.

For some the repetitive nature of Drudkh's music may be a distinct low point. In the case of repetition, on this EP, the characteristic repetition is heightened to substantial levels. "Fallen Into Oblivion" is nothing but repetitive yet never loses momentum. What could be a major turn off to many instead works; the song never releases its hold. Once within the song, one truly feels as if falling forever, never grasping, nor expecting an end to the fall. "Ashes" also exists by this repetitive formula yet with vocals and a more nuanced and toyed with melody, is more involved. Very subdued vocals are added to tease the listener into focusing not ON the music but INTO the music.

Lastly, the packaging is beautiful and depicts the remnants of the Ukranian city Kharkiv during World War 2. Clearly this is centered around Roman's open nationalism and native feelings. The orange record is a nice feature and has, as one person mentioned, "an earthly hue for an earthly album." Ultimately, as a final product this is a beautiful work of art.

Drudkh: anti-good taste - 5%

cinedracusio, June 14th, 2007

This is outrageous. If the urbanism had not evolved, then these vodka-filled shitholes would have no electric guitar to whine on, neither their rare vinyl stuff to get the more naive listener hungry.
The album itself is not bad at all. Too bad that it had to be released, because it contains two incredibly weak pieces of dirgy buggery. Burzum worship... walk with us. Both of these songs sound as if the guy from Veil forgot some rehearsals in a trash bin and our fellas grabbed them (don't worry, Veil manages to get on my nerves as well as this EP).
The first track plods very convincingly (convincing me of this band's lack of originality), with three fuzzed out riffs all the way, all of them sorrowful. We can even hear LEADS! Despondent, intense, simple and ultimately boring leads. You assholes are not going to learn from Sigh's guitarist, are you? The track is complete with hush effects and wind sounds, something that no black metal band has ever done before.
The drums have a fine sound, something that I would call the "potato sound". Flat, concise, like a portion of french fries right in front of you.
The second track plods at a rhythm twice as fast than the first track, still slow, anyway. The great difference is that the mighty vocalist makes his appearance here. Don't need to know his name (Knjaz Pigthroat or what it should be), just get used to the idea that you have nothing good to find here. The growls disturb a performance already failed, while the riffs plod on 2-3 notes each, with occasional cascades of melancholy in their end. In its ending, the track slows down gradually, something that brings Aakon Keetreh to my mind. BUT this blows.
How many members does this project have? 4 or 5? One cute point for each of the boys who did their homework in depressive black metal.

I have said this before but I will say it again: rookies will be fond of this. Those like me (medium-sized black metal listeners) will get the same impression as I did. The true fans of black metal haven't even heard of Drudkh (or at least of this miserable crap, which is more useless than a paper condom).

Short enough - 43%

Human666, June 10th, 2007

While listening to 'Anti-Urban' you feel nothing but overlong melancholic repetition.
The riffing is slow, played at 45RPM, doesn't varies enough and doesn't really impress you. It keeps on depressive atmosphere for the whole time and hypnotizes you into a distant state, but doesn't surprises you or make you feel any real emotion at the same time.

So it manages to put you into a trance state of mind pretty easily, but it's a pretty damn boring EP which doesn't brings anything interesting with it, and the lack of vocals in the first track just make it sounds duller. The vocals themselves are pretty sparse and sounds low and unclear. It also doesn't step up the songs themselves or increases any atmosphere or heat, they are just there to fill an empty blank.

Overall, pretty boring EP. The riffing is mediocre and repeats itself a lot, the drumming is also very minimal and slow, in the bottom line there is nothing here which sounds amazing or even enjoyable. Burzum had already done it before, in a better way.

I like this - 86%

TrooperOfThrash, May 4th, 2007

Drudkh's become famous in the metal underground over the best few years for two things - the amazing speed at which they put out albums, and the amazing consistency of them. Five full lengths and an EP in five years, and another coming sometime this year. Their brand of dark, nature inspired black metal is original while feeling familiar, something that certainly merits praise.

The first thing that hit me about this release was the length, or lack thereof. At only thirteen minutes, it's over very soon. The second was the minimalism of it, or so it seemed. Drudkh's style of repetitive-but-varied black metal is fully present here. Vocals are sparse and not appearing at all on the first track. Slow and melancholy riffing characterizes Falling Into Oblivion, while Ashes is faster paced and (dare I say) more exciting.

Analyzing the individual components of Drudkh is not what they are about, though, and it is the feeling and atmosphere created by Anti-Urban that stands out. As obvious by the title and Drudkh's former releases, their music is all about glorifying nature and paganism over the modernized, industrialized environment. This is present everywhere on Anti-Urban: The cover art, the music, even the orange-brown vinyl itself. While I don't think Drudkh necessarily has a political agenda to get across, listening to this release as a statement of belief brings out another layer that makes it that much easier to appreciate.

Despite their somewhat constrained and unaltered style (With the exception of Songs of Grief and Solitude), Drudkh has managed to remain one of the most interesting and creative bands in the black metal scene. This release is certainly worth a listen for any fan of black metal, and Drudkh fans shouldn't miss the limited edition vinyl.

Sweet but short - 83%

Bertilak, April 30th, 2007

‘Anti-Urban’ is an EP that has been a long time in the making and has been similarly long anticipated by Drudkh fans, containing as it does two tracks that are promised to be 100% exclusive to this release, never to be available in any other format, and limited to 999 copies. Although a tasteful and stylish presentation, the 10-inch coloured vinyl is still a fairly basic package overall, despite its “collectors’ vinyl” price tag. There was also a time when calling a record an “EP” meant that you got at least four tracks but never mind… At least the vinyl does come in the colour of the purest earthy clay, entirely befitting a band of Drudkh’s rural sensibilities.

The cover features images of Kharkiv in Ukraine (where the tracks were also recorded) taken between 1941 and 1943, the years when the city was first captured by the Nazis and finally retaken by the Red Army, respectively. The years between had seen fierce fighting as Kharkiv was lost and recaptured by the Axis powers twice, with 70% of the city destroyed and more than 30,000 people killed. Of course, to Ukrainian nationalists like Drudkh, the conventional historical view of an ultimate liberation by the Red Army is a less clear-cut issue. To them it could be viewed as more of a second occupation, which could account for the mournful and lamenting tone of this record.

As well as depicting Ukraine’s wartime heritage, the cover images also inform the track titles, as both ‘Fallen into Oblivion’ and ‘Ashes’ have clear resonances with the fate of Kharkiv between 1941 and 1943: the ashes of the destroyed buildings and the oblivion of Nazi/Soviet occupations. More directly, the photographs also encapsulate the title of the record as a whole with knowing irony: what could be more ‘anti-urban’ than the annihilation of a city?

The track chosen for the A side is an instrumental. ‘Fallen into Oblivion’ is resolutely slow, the clipped drum marching to almost funeral time. However, the guitars produce the same high, keening tone that characterises Drudkh’s material and the track is built around a simple, focussed riff that gradually rises before slowly falling back, ready to be repeated. Of course, as always with Drudkh, this apparent simplicity is deceptive. As the track progresses, it becomes clearer that the riff actually involves two guitars, which gradually evolve slight variations to the main motif, counterpointing one another with effective use of glissando.

A lower pitched middle section, highlighted by more extensive use of cymbals, provides further contrast before returning to the main theme, although this second riff does reappear at the end before the fade-out. Even at this sombre and precise pace, the wall of distortion that Drudkh emit from their guitars is overwhelming and the sense of repressed grief it evokes is undeniably powerful.

‘Fallen into Oblivion’ has an introspective air, where the slowness is obviously deliberate and highly focussed. All the emphasis is on the guitars and their mesmerising, intertwined dual-riff, while the stark drum simply marks out the elegiac march.

‘Ashes’, on the B side, is not an instrumental but the vocals are so low in the mix (typically for Drudkh) and used so sparingly that it can almost seem like one in retrospect. The track is much faster, with insistent drumming and a choppy, staccato main riff urging the song along. Although the riff is more varied on ‘Ashes’ and features clearly identifiable differing elements, it still basically framed within a descent from high to low before repeating, providing a sense of continuity with the A side over and above the superficially noticeable change in pace.

Despite its greater urgency and harsher riffing, ‘Ashes’ manages to preserve the sense of melancholy that so characterises ‘Fallen into Oblivion’, and this is highlighted by the slower section that the song introduces about two thirds in that carries it through to an notably abrupt fade-out.

Overall, ‘Anti-Urban’ is quite a downbeat single, its lasting impression one of mournfulness and reflection, which again relates well to the cover imagery with its ruined aftermath of conflict. It also represents something of a return to the ‘Forgotten Legends’ era for Drudkh, with no guitar solos and keyboards absent (or at least inaudible). Also notable is the sharp, snare-heavy drum sound, which lacks a bit of depth but affords a suitably militaristic precision, especially on ‘Fallen into Oblivion’.

During its lengthy gestation, ‘Anti-Urban’ changed from an initially posited 7-inch single to a 10-inch release, the wider format ostensibly allowing greater track length and better sound reproduction. However, there is still a sense of containment hanging over both tracks. Since their inception, Drudkh have always used fade-outs on their lengthy tracks but here ‘Ashes’ in particular features an extremely unsympathetic curtailment, too jarring and sudden to be properly termed a ‘fade-out’. It’s more as if it simply ran out of time. The tracks are in many ways classic Drudkh, with memorable riffs and perfectly judged atmosphere and emotion, but there lingers a suspicion that they don’t seem fully explored, that they could have been further developed if allowed. Whether that is due to the band or to the pragmatics of the format is difficult to judge but the latter does seem a strong possibility.

In no sense is ‘Anti-Urban’ a poor release; indeed, it is another strong addition to the Drudkh catalogue, which is surely already one of the most pre-eminent in heathen black metal. It’s just that it exudes the whiff of a slightly missed opportunity, which a couple of extra inches and more imaginative packaging might have precluded. Of course, limited to 999 copies and never to be re-released, that is unlikely to be much of a disincentive for their many fans.