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Melancholy and beauty from NSBM? - 92%

Cedric, December 7th, 2004

This album is ridiculously depressing. I was listening to it on my way to work, and I had to stop to focus on the music. Autumn Aurora is the second album from Drudkh, the pro-ject of Hate Forest members. Drudkh plays mostly instrumental music, reminiscent of Burzum in ways. Even the seemingly randomly placed vocals can be compared to Bur-zum in a way. The key differences are the more melancholy melodies, slightly more compressed production, and more flamboyant drumming, compared to the minimalistic drone of Burzum. Minimalistic drumming would make this just a Burzum clone album for the most part, and I think the drums are actually one of the main factors in this al-bum’s beauty.

The guitars have the slightly more thin sound reminiscent of earlier black metal, but with a more atmospheric edge to them. The bass is not really a significant factor, but is not inaudible, working as a support for the guitar. The songs are often introduced by nature sounds like rain or wind, usually followed up by the main guitar theme, supported with some very creative drum work, using cymbals and non-linear bass-drumming in a very unique fashion. Repetition may be boring in many bands, but you find yourself being fo-cused on the separate instruments at different times during the song. Slight changes in the chord voicings give a variety that does not stray too much from the main theme, but give it a slightly un-easy edge to the music that forms the more melancholy ideas. I am not aware of any lyrics for this, but as Hate Forest is a more NSBM band, and they tend to focus on those issues as well as nature, I assume the lyrics relate to that. That leads me to the topic of vocals. The vocals are very sparse on this album, spread thinly through the 9 minute-plus songs, mostly to provide a healthy variation and add to the atmosphere of despair. The vocals are of a Varg-esque quality, with slightly less hissing, but still enough venom. I would consider this mainly an instrumental album though, and it provides a beautiful atmosphere.