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Extremely original "Nature" black metal - 85%

KayTeeBee, January 15th, 2005

Drudkh is the side project of Hate Forest, and Roman writes the music and plays all the instruments (With the exception of Yuri, who plays the drums but doesn't contribute in songwriting, I believe). The first Drudkh release, Forgotten Legends, was a rawer album which had agressive riffs, and brutal vocals, and it sounded a lot rawer than this album. This album has a bigger "Nature" feel to it, when you listen to the music you can actually picture nature in its purest form, as it was when civilization hadn't taken over. Just take a look at the cover and you'll see what I mean.

The guitars in Autumn Aurora are totally original, containing a lot of acoustic guitars that give a very "natural" feel to the music, but the distorted guitars are still quite impressive, pulling off riffs that sound very different compared to most black metal albums that have been released, both past and present.The drums are also very precise and diverse, Yuri does an excellent job at playing his instruments. I feel that drums that vary a lot are an important factor in this album, seing as the riffs are quite repetitive. The drums stand out the most in "Wind Of The Night Forests", with high-hats and crash symbals coming out of nowhere.

The feeling that this album gives is a feeling that I've very rarely felt, something that is only felt when I listen to simliar bands like Woods Of Ypres. I think it's the acoustic guitars that give it so much feeling, and also the fact that the guitars aren't fully distorted, but there's still enough to call this album black metal. If I could compare Autumn Aurora to only 1 other album, it would have to be "Pursuit Of The Sun & Allure Of The Earth" by Woods Of Ypres, which focuses on both relaxing guitar work and soothing atmospheres.

If you're picking up this album expecting brutal beats and agressive guitar work to headbang too, you're not picking up the right album. Although this is a black metal release, it mainly focuses on soothing the listener and bringing him into a relaxed and sleepy state of mind, without adding a bunch of weird effects too tire the listener. To enjoy this almost at its best, you have to be relaxed, it's a great album to listen when you just woke up or you're feeling relaxed and don't feel like hearing a bunch of riffs put together just for the hell of it that make 3 minute songs. Something you may wonder when you look at the song's length is why I haven't mentionned it being repetitive yet. I have to admit it, this album contains a lot of repetitive moments (especially in songs like "The First Snow"), but the atmosphere is so special that you don't notice it.

What I dislike about the album is that some parts could use a bit more distortion. The last song, "The First Snow", is the one that finished the album is a rather weird way. It has no drums, and the keyboards and weirdly distorted guitars make me wonder why they put this song in here, it basically sounds like a rough mix. They should add drums, a few more riffs, and an acoustic ending. Now that would make the album a lot more interesting (or the end of the album, at least).

However, all the other songs on Autumn Aurora were, as I already mentionned, soothing and very relaxing. A great album if you want to picture nature as it is without civilization, and certainly very enjoyable.