Drudkh – “W Krainie Drzew” (Stereogum Premiere)
Of all black metal’s many hybridized forms, none has produced a more rewarding body of work than folk-influenced black metal (or “pagan” black metal, if you’re trying to make it sound cooler), which frankly includes everything from Bathory to Agalloch. Two of that genre’s very best bands, no qualification necessary, are England’s Winterfylleth and Ukraine’s Drudkh, who are teaming on a split 12″ on which they cover songs by a host of influences and contemporaries. Drudkh provide three of the EP’s four songs; Winterfylleth contribute a version of “The Gates,” by Drudkh guitarist Roman Sayenko’s other band, Hate Forest. Drudkh lead things off with “W Krainie Drzew” (or “In The Land Of Trees”), from Polish ultra-obscurities Hefeystos’ 1996 EP Vilce Sjen. True to form — the forms of both Drudkh and the genre at large — it’s swaying and swelling and hypnotic and majestic. And we’ve got it for you to spin today. Listen.
The Drudkh/Winterfylleth Thousands of Moons Ago/The Gates EP is out 1/21 on 12″ vinyl, limited to 666 copies, via Season Of Mist.