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Rating:
8.7
Drudkh - Autumn Aurora
1 February 2004


01. Fading
02. Summoning The Rain
03. Glare Of Autumn
04. Sunwheel
05. Wind Of The Night Forest
06. The First Snow


Summer is at its end. A tranquil forest, majestic and lush, marks this passing. The intense green slowly fades, only to be replaced by all shades of yellow. The peaceful brook still flows, only its calming sound is no longer accompanied by a choir of singing birds. The skies have turned gray, and the sun barely manages to sneak a few rays through thick, heavy clouds. The first autumn rain falls, soaking the ground covered with a thick layer of mushy leaves. Winds howl through treetops, some of them naked, some still maintaining their colorful crowns. The air grows even colder, the brook freezes, and the first snowflake hits the ground, only to be followed by countless more, graciously floating through the air, which smells of the first snow. Can you picture this scene of autumn flowing by you?
Can you imagine what it would sound like, turned into music made by fast-paced drums, hissing guitars and background synths? Well, Drudkh certainly could.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to present to you that which is one of the best atmospheric black metal albums that came out in this decade. The one and only Drudkh need very little introduction, as they have already reached a certain popularity both within underground circles and somewhat beyond. Autumn Aurora gets my vote for their crowning achievement. They showed us that black metal doesn't always need to be icy-cold and hateful, and that it can also be tranquil, warm, but still melancholic.

On a technical side, don't expect anything spectacular. Drudkh have almost always been a band that relies on somewhat simple musicianship to create a beautiful atmosphere. The same riff can go on chugging for ages, with only some slight background changes. Song structures also have the trait of minimalism, as there are often 2 or 3 different sections in a song that switch between each other. Some might find this kind of musical approach boring and tedious, but it actually creates a very droning/hypnotizing effect which is a large part of this album's undeniable charm. Besides, you could say that the songs are quite varied between each other. "Glare of Autumn" and "Summoning the Rain" remain on the neutral ground between melancholy and cheerfulness, "Sunwheel" is quite up-beat, "Wind of The Night Forests" shows this band's darker side and "The First Snow" is pretty much an Ethereal song, definitely the most sorrowful one on the album. As a downside, I have to mention that "Autumn Aurora" feels slightly shorter than it should be. Drudkh should have put at least one more song on it. Also, I believe that just a slightly better production would have been better on this album, as some elements of the music would have been more audible and enjoyable that way. However, these are minor flaws and in no way will they hamper your listening experience.

There you have it. If you ever need a soundtrack for a walk in the woods during autumn, or you're simply looking for excellent atmospheric black metal that isn't about "northern frost and grimness", know that this album is a perfect choice. It may not be a technical masterpiece, or a revolutionary breakthrough, but it sure is a shining gem of its genre.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Band profile: Drudkh
Album: Autumn Aurora


 


written by Slayer666 | 17.10.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
KvltovKthvlhv

Rating:
9.7
One of the things that makes a great album, especially in the black metal or depressive black metal genres is atmosphere. The ability of a band to capture a certain atmosphere whether it be depressive and melancholic, or hateful and dark, the atmosphere of a black metal album is important. This album delivers a thick, sorrowful, and very natural atmosphere. Out of the four Drudkh albums I've listened to, this one is by far their best.

Read more ››
published 27.02.2011 | Comments (2)



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!J.O.O.E.! - 17.10.2010 at 12:55  
+1

I prefer the other cover art to this album though.
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.10.2010 at 13:40  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.10.2010 at 12:55

+1

I prefer the other cover art to this album though.



I was wondering why the reissue cover art is featured.

Btw ALL of the reissues' cover art is horrendous.

The original art is way superior.
Ellrohir - 17.10.2010 at 17:16  
I like the new cover better
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.10.2010 at 17:28  
Written by Ellrohir on 17.10.2010 at 17:16

I like the new cover better

Looks like a tacky photoshop job to me, with abuse of the "saturation" function.
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.10.2010 at 17:36  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.10.2010 at 17:28

Written by Ellrohir on 17.10.2010 at 17:16

I like the new cover better

Looks like a tacky photoshop job to me, with abuse of the "saturation" function.


But not as bad as the reissue of Swan Road. My God that one is really really really atrocious
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.10.2010 at 17:41  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.10.2010 at 17:36

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.10.2010 at 17:28

Written by Ellrohir on 17.10.2010 at 17:16

I like the new cover better

Looks like a tacky photoshop job to me, with abuse of the "saturation" function.


But not as bad as the reissue of Swan Road. My God that one is really really really atrocious

True, but as one of the least listenable Drudkh albums I'm not too bothered by it ;]
Mr. Doctor - 17.10.2010 at 18:33  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.10.2010 at 13:40

Btw ALL of the reissues' cover art is horrendous.
The original art is way superior.


Yeah... I try to see it in the most positive way though: It's not that hard for me to find a Drudkh album anymore
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.10.2010 at 18:52  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.10.2010 at 18:33


Yeah... I try to see it in the most positive way though: It's not that hard for me to find a Drudkh album anymore


very sound reasoning.
Mr. Doctor - 17.10.2010 at 22:36  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.10.2010 at 18:52

very sound reasoning.


But still, it's not that this artwork on it's own is bad, but the fact that I think the original one is really beautiful. Why did they have to change the artwork? They could have done the reissue with the same artwork... damn.
Ellrohir - 18.10.2010 at 00:30  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.10.2010 at 17:28

Written by Ellrohir on 17.10.2010 at 17:16

I like the new cover better

Looks like a tacky photoshop job to me, with abuse of the "saturation" function.

and to me the original one is just some obscure painting...

(btw Swan Road original cover appears to me to be even more weird, although there i agree the "new" artwork isnt any win)
Kuroboshi - 17.11.2010 at 11:24  
This album is amazing.. It would easily get a 10 from me if it wasn't for Sunwheel.. Not a bad song per se, but it feels completely out of place!
KvltovKthvlhv - 01.03.2011 at 23:00  
Great review, I enjoyed writing my review for it. I agree with you on almost everything, but I think the production is as it should be. I would also call this their crowning achievement.
BeastOfMetal456 - 17.08.2011 at 01:59  
Great review for a great black metal album. Production is great, this black metal. I agree about the riffs chugging forever, especially in the last song, which makes it SLIGHTLY boring.
Gfmichaud - 01.01.2012 at 18:45  
Does anyone know what is the painting used for the original cover?
Is it written in the booklet?
I love it!
Troy Killjoy - 01.01.2012 at 20:37  
Written by Gfmichaud on 01.01.2012 at 18:45
Does anyone know what is the painting used for the original cover?

I tried looking for it online but didn't come up with anything.

Except for the name Taras Shevchenko. I don't know if he's relevant to this release but apparently they drew influence from his poetry for The Swan Road.

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