Haunting The Chapel

Is Drudkh’s Handful Of Stars The Best Album Of 2010?

Ukranian black metal crew Drudkh’s last album Microcosmos landed at number three on my 30 Best Metal Albums Of 2009. As I said then, “The smallest details are accounted for … deep weirdly seafaring bass sound (see ‘Distant Cries Of Cranes’), darkly cascading guitars (and masterfully patient solos), massive dynamic shifts, subtle keyboards … It feels effortless, but remains as deeply thought as their best work.” The last we heard from the guys they were blasting and buzzing through a cover of Beherit’s “The Gate Of Nanna” as Drudkh side-project Blood Of Kingu, but things get especially pretty on eighth album, Handful Of Stars. The quartet has a stellar oeuvre that contains a number of classics — Forgotten Legends, Autumn Aurura, Blood In Our Wells, The Swan Road, the aforementioned Microcosmos. They’re one of the most important active black metal bands on the planet. And Handful Of Stars may very well be their greatest work to date — though the experimental, progressive, melancholic piano/keyboard, and gauzy “shoegaze” elements will undoubtedly piss off purists. Take a listen to standouts “Twilight Aureole” and “Towards The Light,” make up your own mind. The lyrics were inspired by the Ukrainian poets Oleksa Stefanovych and Svyatoslav Gordynskyj.

Drudkh – “Twilight Aureole”

Season Of Mist just uploaded a free MP3 of “Towards The Light.”

Drudkh – “Towards The Light”

Listen in order:

01 “Cold Landscapes”
02 “Downfall of the Epoch”
03 “Towards the Light”
04 “Twilight Aureole”
05 “The Day Will Come”
06 “Listening to the Silence”

Handful Of Stars came out yesterday (9/21) via Season Of Mist. I envy those of you hearing “The Day Will Come” for the first time. Regarding the headline: I know we also have Kylesa, Agalloch (!!), Alcest, Nachtmystium, Enslaved, Salome, Triptykon, Castevet, Yakuza, Burzum, etc., to contend with this year (so far) … Who else?

Tags: Drudkh