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Drudkh - Blood In Our Wells CD (album) cover

BLOOD IN OUR WELLS

Drudkh

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.82 | 19 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Blood In Our Wells (Кров у Наших Криницях, Krov u Nashykh Krynytsyakh) - Drudkh (7/10)

Often matched up against their second work 'Autumn Aurora' as Drudkh's crowning achievement, it has been a long time coming for me to get around to hearing 'Blood In Our Wells'. They are a band who require no introduction; since their decidedly Burzum-inspired 'Forgotten Legends', they have represented Ukraine's enigmatic black metal scene with a particular focus on atmosphere. 'Blood In Our Wells' sees the band incorporating a greater measure of melody into their arboreal style, and while I might still point towards 'Aumn Aurora' as the greatest of what these Ukrainians have to offer, their fourth album is an ambitious expansion on their already intriguing sound.

One thing that's often mentioned about these guys is that they refuse to post their lyrics, and paired with the fact that most of the band's listeners will not be familiar with the finer elements of the Ukrainian tongue, this leaves the band's subject matter up to the listener's imagination. Like its predecessor 'The Swan Road' however, 'Blood In Our Wells' uses the work of regarded Ukrainian poets, complimenting the romantic lyrical imagery with an introspective atmosphere. Although Drudkh's sound still lurks about the lo-fi depths, the instruments are well mixed and clear. The vocals (presumably done by Thurios) are surprisingly distinct for a genre that often defaults on rasping; his delivery is aggressive and intelligible. Although the lyrical content is not 'original' to the band, it is incorporated beautifully into their music. It is not a far stretch to hear Drudkh's dreamlike atmosphere being matched with Lina Kostenko's agrarian metaphor.

Melody is a more prominent aspect of 'Blood In Our Wells', although this to realize itself most in the music's handful of dramatic climaxes; moments within the typically longwinded compositions in which all emotion is let loose. 'Furrows of Gods' and 'When The Flame Turns To Ashes' are both highlights on the album, maintaining the band's penchant for repetition only long enough to make their point. The latter of those two concludes on a particularly stunning note, collapsing into a melodic dirge among the greatest Drudkh have ever done. The album's second half becomes more longwinded, but the slight dip in quality does not break the atmosphere, which 'makes' the album. With the band's trademark addition of arboreal folk instrumentation into the black metal soundscape, 'Blood In Our Wells' makes for another stirring experience. It does not give the same shock, nor envelop me as much as did 'Autumn Aurora', but for the critical acclaim I had read of it, I have not found myself disappointed.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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