Dordeduh - Dar De Duh review
|Album:||Dar De Duh|
|Release date:||September 2012|
01. Jind De Tronuri
04. Calea Rotilor De Foc
Disc II [digipak bonus]
01. Zuh - Cu Tunetul Muntilor
03. Ruun [Enslaved cover]
Disc III [bonus DVD]
+ Interview feature & making of
In the common mindset, when a fire burns something to ashes, said thing is completely destroyed, never to return. And yet, in European mythology, we are told that the mythological phoenix, upon nearing old age, bursts into flames... only to be reborn from its ashes, to begin life anew with a fresh energy and spiritual vitality. From the creative ashes of Romanian black metal legends Negură Bunget, rose the phoenix of Dordeduh, the new project of former members Sol Faur and Huppogramus; it both pays tribute to the band of their origin and yet also transcends it. Dordeduh are by no means whatsoever easy to digest, and nor is their debut album. And yet, as was the case with Negură Bunget, this sense of mystery is part of what adds to the band's overall formula of fantastic music. For Dar De Duh is quite simply the type of album that's like an elaborately-crafted painting. You have to look it over several times to fully absorb its entire beauty, but once you take it in for all it's worth, you'll be absolutely amazed.
Dar De Duh is inevitably going to be compared to Negură Bunget's magnum opus, 2006's Om, so I'll use that album as the primary comparison between the two bands, since the question of "how do Dordeduh match up?" is likely on everyone's mind. To put it simply, Dar De Duh isn't as sharply composed, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Whereas Om was a little more compact in its songwriting (sticking to a distinctly single "sound" per track), Dar De Duh is a bit more spaced out. Dordeduh make this clearest perhaps with the opening track, "Jind De Tronuri," a 16-minute epic that plunges the listener into an intricate blend of an eerie ambient intro, a classic black metal guitar tone, native percussion at around 3:45, and then an intense mix of keyboards, dulcimer, and Romanian chants towards the song's latter half (see around the 14-minute mark).
The other thing is that where Om struck more of a 50/50 balance between its black metal and folk elements, Dar De Duh leans more towards the folk side of the equation. This is not to say that Dordeduh don't on occasion get into the traditional black metal sound we all know and love (see "Flacararii" and "Calea Rotilor De Foc"), but for the most part on this album the band seem to be much more focused with expanding upon the incorporation of their native Romanian sounds into their music. "Dojana" and the magnificently-crafted "E-an-na," for example, contain almost no black metal elements whatsoever, and on the tracks that do contain black metal undertones, Dordeduh (like Enslaved) later accentuate such undertones with additional progressive, folklorish elements. For example, the shrieks and lo-fi guitars on "Calea Rotilor De Foc" are later accompanied by a flute at about 4 1/2 minutes in.
So is Dar De Duh as good as Om? In all honestly, it's a pretty useless question, because the two albums, while having a similar core sound, are quite different in their composition. On Om, Negură Bunget seemed to be saying "let's just show them a different technique per track," whereas on Dar De Duh, Dordeduh seem to be going for a much less humble approach, saying something like "let's just blow their minds by cramming ALL of our techniques into single tracks." At times, this technique can seem very overwhelming, especially on "Jind De Tronuri," the titan of an opening track. This is really the only complaint I can see people having with the album: that it's simply too much to listen to, and in that case, if you prefer more straightforward metal that is easier to digest, Dar De Duh may not be the album for you. But if you enjoyed Om and are armed with a willingness to listen to an album that takes a few listens to entirely comprehend its theme, then give Dar De Duh a spin. You will not regret it.
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