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Drudkh - Forgotten Legends CD (album) cover

FORGOTTEN LEGENDS

Drudkh

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.16 | 21 ratings

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CassandraLeo
5 stars Drudkh's first album, Forgotten Legends, is a black metal classic. It's not exactly a début, because the band members had worked together before in the significantly darker (and less prog-oriented) Hate Forest, which they would disband not too long after this release due to their growing distaste for the authoritarian politics with which Hate Forest was associated. Forgotten Legends represents a more melodic and epic approach to the genre than anything Hate Forest had recorded, although the slower tempi found on Forgotten Legends can also be found on Hate Forest's Battlefields, which is the odd man out in HF's discography for being a concept album about war (spoiler: it's hell), being almost doom metal in execution, and containing several traditional Ukrainian folk pieces (presaging a direction Drudkh would later pursue further with their all-acoustic Songs of Grief and Solitude).

For all that they emerged fully formed on their first album, Drudkh hadn't fully developed their sound yet when they recorded this album. The production is cruder than what people would later come to expect from them (and the tape speed is slightly off, which will annoy people who try to play along on piano or guitar). The songs are also simpler, being comprised of fewer riffs despite lasting for nine to sixteen minutes each ("Smell of Rain", the album's outro, consists purely of rain and thunder sound effects). This is old-school ambient black metal in the Burzum vein, with fewer of the progressive elements Drudkh would bring to the foreground in their later releases. But the songwriting and performances are top-notch, with Yuriy Sinitsky's drumming in particular standing out as superb.

This isn't Drudkh's best release - many listeners tend to point to either the band's sophomore effort, Autumn Aurora, or Blood in Our Wells, their fourth, as the band's high water mark, while Estrangement currently has the highest rating among their discography on this web site (apart from the new album, which is likely to drop as more people review it). But for fans of old school ambient black metal, Forgotten Legends has a lot to offer, and is strongly recommended for inclined listeners. Listeners who enjoyed the band's most recent release, A Furrow Cut Short, are especially urged to check this out, as this release is a close cousin to that album in many ways.

CassandraLeo | 5/5 |

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