Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

An absolute classic - 99%

dystopia4, April 2nd, 2011

There are many things that can go wrong with atmospheric black metal. There are many bands that are great at the atmospheric part, but couldn't play decent black metal if their lives depended on it. What was intended to be a hypnotic atmosphere might come off as boring and tedious. Drudkh falls victim to no such fate, with both atmosphere and black metal weaved together to make one of the best black metal albums ever released. There is not a single moment on this album where Drudkh comes off as dull, everything falls perfectly into place. It is rare that such an original album graces the realm of black metal.

Picture yourself in a vast forest on an autumn's day. The leaves have changed color and there is a soft wind blowing. This is exactly the atmosphere that Autumn Aurora captures. The fuzzy electric guitar, the serene acoustic guitar, the crashing of the cymbals and the sparse deep rasps all converge to create the perfect aesthetic. The guitar tone on this album is very unique. It is not crushingly distorted, but it is fuzzy enough to not sound out of place in a black metal album. It is prominent but does not overpower everything. The magnificent melodies of the lead guitar are rare, but extremely powerful when they do show up.

The vocals are much more deep than the high pitched screams that are typical of black metal. They are not buried in the mix. Neither are they distractingly loud. They fit in perfectly. The drums on this album are phenomenal. They are often repetitive, with emphasis on the cymbals. Their repetitive nature is hypnotic, rather than boring. On "Wind of the Night Forests", the drummer proves he is also capable of intricate patterns. When metal bands include synths, it is often cheesy and over the top. On this album they are tasteful, not overdone and add depth to the songs.

Black metal is most known for being bleak, depressing, grim and evil. With Drudkh's sophomore release, they prove that black metal isn't limited to one aesthetic or vibe. While there are still traces of melancholy, Autumn Aurora is beautiful and almost hopeful at times. "Fading" is a perfect introduction to this autumn journey. The acoustic guitar plays serenely with birds chirping in the background. The intriguing riff that starts off "Sunwheel" is hopeful; almost joyful. While this might sound cheesy on a black metal album, in this case it is anything but. "The First Snow", the album's final track, signals the end of autumn. There is something beautiful about the repetitive acoustic guitar and synths. Instead of drawing the listener into a bout of apathy, it is hypnotic.

If you are looking for a black metal album packed to the brim with relentless blast beats, evil sounding guitars with unrelenting distortion that refuse to touch a major scale and over the top wails, this isn't your album. If you are looking for the perfect atmosphere and originality, you won't be disappointed. This is an absolute classic of the black metal genre, and certainly deserves all the attention it gets.