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Early Bedtime Tonight - 93%

OzzyApu, September 21st, 2010

Autumn Aurora moves away from the murky background that Forgotten Legends basked in toward the whole of autumn itself. The gloom and despair of the debut is shunned by the everlasting birth and rebirth of life that autumn sits between, yet this sophomore effort intermingles with both and retains the style from the debut to give us an offering that itself can only be deemed as Drudkh’s best. To listen to this means to step away from civilization and mankind – even for a little while to keep you alive inside. That won’t make much sense to some of you, but trust me, you’ll need every bit of help in this messed up world we live in.

Six tracks makes more to break down and experience individually as separate journeys; some last dozens of seconds while others last several minutes - each carry their own touch of ethereal embrace. Just hearing the stratum of oxidized temperate atmosphere is enough to change my outlook on any given moment. The fuzzy distortion makes its return, although its infusion adapts to the open-ended clarity amidst incised, begrudging notes. Autumn Aurora relies heavily on rhythms instead of climaxes, a statement (one can assume) on life’s continuous progression forward regardless of outbursts on humanity’s part. The music itself isn’t progressive – don’t be fooled by words – in fact, the simplistic strum-etching style Saenko employs is a form of little effort that creates forests of roaring layers. The air fizzes hypnotically, echoing the melodic, blissful tunes seemingly passed down from legendary folk tunes; hardly the reality, but still spellbinding and soothing either way.

The bass back up isn’t very apparent when listening to say on my computer, but when I’m asleep and up close with the music, it grows like grass as the hair of the earth. Booms and churning lava rivers of natural warmth glaze the fervent tone, with massive exuberance especially on songs like “Wind Of The Night Forests” when all the instruments gang together with the non-sappy acoustics and synths in a frenzied whirlwind. Drumming I’m also a huge fan of, as Yuriy rolls and paces cleanly and calmly throughout the expedition on a buff, tumbling-style of drumming. He goes for lots of constant cymbal hits and timed, implanted drum bass plunges and hefty snares. These patterns are intensely catchy and hold no subversion as black metal would have one assume – they only coexist moodily.

The last bits of autumn’s rust are the vocals, which resonate eternally through every autumn you’ll ever live through. Thurios howls with wide, tattered screams that, although not too abundant in variety, insist on being the Sasquatch of the music, I guess. They aren’t out of place, and in fact are the one element that keeps this album from becoming utter ambiance for the human realm of sanity (read: instrumental nature ambience). Likewise, these screams cry for the seasons themselves, like it translates nature’s pain for us. The one track that doesn’t need this contribution is “The First Snow” - a track that reminds me a whole lot of the intro to Burzum’s song “Det Some En Gang Var”. “The First Snow” is an enthralling instrumental that sums up the entire experience with delectable synths and guitars forming the infinite buzzing breath as it goes in and out of straightforward strokes to amplifier humming.

Drudkh proved to be an entity not on the verge of something superb, but already an unremitting life form of great fortune. Now obviously we know that they threw that out the window in favor of making shitty rural wank albums, but since then they’ve returned back to what truly made them a band that created an art to listen and experience passionately. No more riffs for the sake of riffs – people can write all sorts of riffs, but Drudkh were more about thought and the final picture. Pictures can be worth a thousand words, but it’s the ones like Autumn Aurora that can do without words as they shut you up and take you on a voyage, instead.