Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Drudkh - Microcosmos CD (album) cover



Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
3 stars Splitting the Fanbase

Drudkh is a band that has received quite a lot of praise by black metal fans since their conception in 2002, with their albums Forgotten Legends, Autumn Aurora, and Blood in Our Wells often regarded as seminal folk/black metal albums. All of their other albums have been said to be fantastic as well, so the band has quite the positive reputation in black metal! For many people, Microcosmos doesn't entirely live up to their "Drudkh standards", but I personally find it to be another great album in their discography. Even though I am admittedly not the biggest black metal fan, and there are a few things here that bother me, I am generally pleased with Drudkh's seventh effort.

If you're familiar with Drudkh, this is unmistakably their sound. The band is firmly rooted in black metal, but they are much softer than most bands in the genre. Don't expect a whole lot of typical black metal brutality here; this band is much more focused on chilling, brooding, and sometimes beautiful songwriting. When it comes to black metal (a genre I don't usually care for very much), this is the type of music I really enjoy. Drudkh plays an atmospheric folk/black metal combination, something that works really well. Most of the songs here are pretty long, filled with many instrumental passages, time signature changes, and even atmospheric keyboard sections. This gives most of Microcosmos a rather progressive feeling, even though prog isn't the first word I'd use to describe the album. This is black metal in its most "musical" form, so if you're a critic of the genre for being to noisy and dissonant, this is worth a listen.

One of the reasons why many people don't love Microcosmos is because of the comparisons to Drudkh's previous efforts, but as a more casual listener I can enjoy this album all the same. This may not be quite as great as their earlier albums, but Drudkh is a high quality band, so that isn't saying very much. I just want to clarify that I don't believe for even a second that this is the "thud" in Drudkh's discography.

The musicians of Drudkh are very secretive (there are no pictures of them circulating the internet and they don't play live shows), and they have limited lineup information as well. Finding a concrete lineup for all of their albums is pretty difficult and questionable, but I believe this album was made by Thurios (vocals, keyboards), Roman Saenko (guitar, bass), Krechet (bass, keyboards), Vlad (drums, keyboards). Of course, this could be incorrect, but for the sake of this review, I will reference these musicians.

Microcosmos is a 6-track, 41:50 album. The opening track Days That Passed and the closing track Widow's Grief are short one minute intros and outros, so that really only leaves 4 "songs". All of these songs are pretty long, each going beyond the 9 minute mark. This further proves Drudkh's relevance as a progressive band, even though they aren't references in the prog metal genre. All of the songs here are fantastic, even though there are a few dull portions every now and again. Fortunately, they are few and far between, and don't create a big problem in the overall listening experience. All of the longer songs are extremely epic, and an absolute joy for me to listen to.

Drudkh is a very talented band compositionally, but they aren't exactly the tightest playing unit around. Most black metal bands aren't very tight, and that's something I've always disliked about the genre. I simply wish this was perfected in the studio with overdubs. Parts of this album almost sound like they were recorded in a live setting. This may be partially due to the somewhat weak production, however. All of the musicians are very capable, though, and I have to give them credit for that. Even though the delivery isn't always completely there, the talent definitely is.

As mentioned, the production is somewhat weak in my opinion. Black metal is notorious for having lo-fi productions, and although Microcosmos doesn't sound like it was recorded on an 8-track in some guy's basement, I can't say I'm a fan of the sound either. I just wish this were recorded with better sound, because I definitely would've enjoyed the album much more. It's an acquired taste, though, and I'm sure black metal fans will be in heaven with this one. I do enjoy how the lo-fi sound adds to the chilling atmosphere, but atmospheric productions don't nessacerily have to lo-fi to get the job done. If you want to hear a chilling black metal production that's still high quality, check out Negura Bunget's Om. That album has a killer sound that all black metal bands should take a hint from.


Microcosmos is a really good album by Drudkh, and is definitely worth a purchase for anyone interested in the band. Even though I don't think it's their best work, it's still a great black/folk metal album that all fans of the genre should check out. My rating will be a 3.5 for this solid and enjoyable album. Had the production been better and the musicians been tighter, I would've definitely gone higher.

Report this review (#291225)
Posted Tuesday, July 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Drudkh, have released a new album almost every year since their debut. The studioless year 2008 made many fans wait to the edge of their seats for "Microcosmos", which was put out the following year, with high expectations. But, as far as I'm concerned, the album did not give me the same feeling as all the previous ones gave me. In fact, I'm a little down in the mouth by saying that this is my least favorite Drudkh album.

"Microcosmos", is the one of the most progressive and ambitious albums of the band so far, paradoxically for somebody like me who particularly enjoys progressive music. No worries for Drudkh fans, the typical cold and bleak atmospheres are always present, and dominate the whole 41 minutes. What is new, and it is definitely something a fan would notice, is that many parts sound a lot more claustrophobic, nocturnal, and tense; I'm talking about the calmer parts, embraced inside almost all the tracks. These placid moments have been for a while part of Drudkh's characteristics, but never they have been dressed with such tension and enigmatic stillness. This, of course, is the thing I really like about the album.

There is nothing wrong in particular with this album; I just wasn't fond of most of the songs, finding them a little dull or just not worthy of ones attention. One of those album where you don't hate, or love, but it's destined to be forgotten in your collection, whether you like it or not.

Let me say though something about the songs I liked; I found the structure of the album very interesting, with an intro and outro that are about one minute long each, and four long songs that are the nucleus of the album. The second track, "Distant Cries Of Cranes" is definitely my favorite, despite it isn't usually the song people choose as the best of the album. But those atmospheres are so haunting and chilling, it's a near perfect song, thanks also to the brilliant middle part and the strong ending. Honestly I think the rest of the songs pale to the Distant Cries Of Cranes", even though some good parts are present in "Ars Poetica" or in "Decadence". Overall, "Everything Unsaid Before" didn't leave me anything to think of, no particular melody or such.

A mediocre album, I have to say, at times enjoyable but other times it feels a little heartless, despite Atmospheric Black Metal is one of those genres where this adjective is absolutely forbidden.

Report this review (#412810)
Posted Tuesday, March 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog Sothoth
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I'm not sure how to properly pronounce the name Drudkh, but it sounds like a noise I would make into a handkerchief. This band belongs on that part of the black metal spectrum that focuses on atmosphere, ambience and subject matters invoking concepts of nature and general moodiness as opposed to Satan worshipping mayhem with raw angry riffs. Years from now I would not be surprised if bands like this one, Alcest, WiiTR and others are regarded as some sort of different genre entirely rather than black metal itself.

Microcosmos has an almost shoegazing aspect to their music, with layered distorted guitars smoothly unleashing melancholic riffs, with one truly interesting aspect to their sound, that being the bass guitar. Not just in presence, but in technique and utilization, particularly during "Distant Cries of Cranes", in which the latter half of the song features bass soloing. The rhythms and tempos vary and change in an almost random fashion, which in this case is a positive aspect since this sort of droning tremolo riffage can get tiresome after awhile without occurrences to shake things up. There's also some guitar soloing and mellow passages to add variety to these tunes, and the album is bookended by folksy instrumentals.

Vocals are of a mid to high range growl as opposed to a more hysterical shriek normally associated with black metal, which is fine but gets monotonous as the album wears on. With not much variation in tone and volume level, the vocals seem more as just a means in which to display the lyrics into the song rather than an important piece of each song's construction. Production overall is fairly high quality going by black metal standards, with the drums loud and clear without overpowering the guitars whatsoever.

Strength-wise, "Distant Cries of Cranes" and "Everything Unsaid Before" are the most memorable cuts to me, possessing all of the best qualities of this album's ideas into two strong tracks that sound dissimilar from each other while sharing the mutual overall style and instrumentation. The remaining tracks are not bad by any means, but merely more of the same but at a less enticing level to my ears. Microcosmos is a fine addition to those fully immersed in their genre, but for the uninitiated, it might still be worth checking out for the unorthodox structures and cool bass lines.

Report this review (#764546)
Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | Review Permalink

DRUDKH Microcosmos ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of DRUDKH Microcosmos

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.