Drudkh - Лебединий Шлях (The Swan Road) review

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Band: Drudkh
Album: Лебединий Шлях (The Swan Road)
Release date: March 2005

01. 1648
02. Вічне Сонце (Eternal Sun)
03. Кров (Blood)
04. Заграва 1768-го (Glare Of 1768)
05. Ціна Волі (The Price Of Freedom)
06. Доля (Fate)
07. Дума Про Руйнування Січі (Song Of Sich Destruction)

Having already released two fabulous albums, "Autumn Aurora" and "Forgotten Legends", that were moving in black metal soundscapes, flirting with an imposing at some times, nostalgic/melancholic at others, epic feeling, Ukraine's Drudkh returned during 2005 with their brand new full-length release, "The Swan Road".

Third official release for Drudkh and they keep on composing monumental songs, unleashing their inspiration in 7 compositions that won't sadden for sure the fans of the band.

The sound of the guitars is sharp and the riffing is inspired, evoking the ideal epic feeling in the air. What is easily noticeable and worth of the listener's attention is the fact that the guitar riffing, many times, ends in quite technical and beautiful-sounding solos, pacing with the composition the moment they enter, letting it flow in the most appropriate way. Also, the acoustic passages are utterly inspired and they paint the soundscape with lyrical and grey/melancholic sound colors, adding to the songs a fragile aesthetic. Needless to say, the overall atmosphere of "The Swan Road" is being evoked only by the guitars, something very important, showing the genius mind of the band concerning the composing factor in terms of atmosphere and folk references which are being interpreted in the most appropriate way.

What is easily noticeable is the fact that the folk passages become more and more vivid in the sound of Drudkh with every album they release, with "The Swan Road" being their most folk-oriented album. The drumming adds an imposing tone to the album, as much as it has to, while the bass lines could have been a bit more in the foreground since they are being buried a bit in the production enough times, but since Drudkh is an underground black metal band and the fans of underground black metal are used in not hearing the bass guitar due to the production factor this isn't a problem, in my humble opinion.

The vocals sound a bit different this time, more raw if i may say, but great still, harmonizing wonderfully with the music of Drudkh that show us a more dynamic face in "The Swan Road", without losing though in epic feeling. What is really remarkable is the fact that the last song of the album, "Song Of Sich destruction", is a pure folk composition, with the lyrics having been written in Ukrainian and the vocals being clear and interpret in a nostalgic, melancholic, traditional manner. The only problem with it is that it seems to be out of the overall touch of the album in a way, in terms of sound, but this is only my opinion.

"The Swan Road" is a great album that balances between dynamic and folk/epic elements, offering us 7 compositions of exceptionally played, let's say, Slavonic black metal, with songs like "Blood", "Glare Of 1768" and "The Price Of Freedom" (a real hymn!) being just perfect!


Written on 10.12.2005 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."


Comments: 6   Visited by: 110 users
12.06.2008 - 13:00
Seeker of Truth
Oh, I can't express how much I love this album. Really great. And the lyrics... taken from the works of the famous 19th century national Ukrainian poet. Amazing! And these guys are from country. I'm so proud that at least one Ukrainian band is somewhat known in Europe (but I found out about them on MS -> shame on me). The only thing that sucks about the album is production, but otherwise: commendable.
Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Satan was a Backstreet Boy
19.05.2009 - 19:42
I wonder if it isn't possible for metalstorm.ee to both display the Ukrainian and English names. (Technically, it is.)
I mean - the songs are Ukrainian, they are sung on Ukrainian, and the mere titles were translated for the Western, Latin world.
But I won't make any change to the album, I ask you, the community first :p I'm not sure if anyone liked this piece of exactness...
Fashion is the uniform of civilians.
-- Werner Mitsch
18.09.2009 - 11:32
Heaven Knight
Drudkh is wonderful band
My rest seems now calm and deep
Finally I got my dead man sleep

04.11.2009 - 08:14
Liver Failure
Very good album. Not my favorite one, but it put me into their sound. The first song ''Eternal Sun'' is simply breath-taking, amazingly complex.

The reviwer calls attention to the song ''Blood'', which I found to be worst song in the album... =X

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
07.02.2011 - 22:11
Sure as hell not 9.2 material, but very, very good just the same. My 2nd favorite from Drudkh. In this one, they decided to push their sound towards more classic Black metal than on earlier (and later) efforts, and it is a excellent attempt.
The artwork featured on MetalStorm is atrocious, though.
08.02.2012 - 23:24
One of Drudkh's best even though it falls behind Autumn Aurora and Blood In Our Wells.
In that case, man is only air as well.

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