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Drudkh - Slavonic Chronicles CD (album) cover

SLAVONIC CHRONICLES

Drudkh

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.79 | 5 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Slavonic Chronicles' - Drudkh (6/10)

To bridge the time between then, and the release of their 2010 full-length 'Handful Of Stars', Drudkh released this homage to two metal legends of Eastern Europe. Obviously quite big influences on this band's sound, the music of Master's Hammer and their fellow Ukranians Sacrilegium are paid tribute, with Drudkh lead man Roman Saenko and company taking one song each of this band and putting their own spin on it. While undoubtedly a fan's item, Drudkh passes both of these songs on very well, and puts enough of a new twist into each of the tracks as to make 'Slavonic Chronicles' worthy of a few spins.

The first song is the much shorter 'Indiánská Píseň Hrůzy', a song originally played by Master's Hammer, that is pretty simplistic compared to the epic second track here, but has an almost bluesy black metal feel to it that is oddly reminiscent of some of Opeth's slower metal work. Beggining with some very odd electronic soundscaping, the song develops into an anthemic hymn of doom, with tortured vocal rasping dominating the mix. Eventually, the main section of the song abates into a melodic solo that really makes the song worth listening to, although it ultimately is nothing special.

The second track here however, is what makes Drudkh's 'Slavonic Chronicles' a bit more than a mere fan serving. Originally penned by Sacreligium, this is an epic composition that very gradually builds from harmonic picking and a repetitive guitar picking, into a galloping storm of guitars and Thurios' snarl. The song really hits it's stride during the middle, in which an atonal woodwinds arrangement is introduced, tying the music in with Drudkh's roots in Ukranian folk music. Suffice to say, Drudkh does this epic a fair justice.

One issue the EP doesn't properly deal with is the production. While the sound is generally quite clear for black metal, problems arise when the mixing appears as if it cuts out for brief moments. While this might go unnoticed for some, once you do notice the little lapses in mixing and volume, it can become a mild thorn in one's side when enjoying the music.

'Slavonic Chronicles' is about as good as a one-off covers effort can get. With good song choices, a meaningful tribute and maintainance of the band's trademark style, this EP should appeal to fans of this band, and anyone with a casual interest in the black metal style.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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