Origin: Kharkiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine 🇺🇦
Genre: Black Metal
Since 2002, Drudkh has been to the Ukrainian black metal scene what Satanic Warmaster has been to Finland’s. Always under the scrutiny of brain dead “anti-fascist” groups who don’t know the difference between national pride and National Socialism. All the while as they’ve fallen victim to this futile inquisition, Drudkh has responded by quietly releasing some of the scene’s most brilliant works of cultural nostalgia and Ukrainian history-exploring BM.
Drudkh lyrics are influenced by nineteenth and twentieth century Ukrainian poets; namely Taras Schevchenko. But the controversy surrounding this project is due mainly to “Blood In Our Wells”, which is an album that was dedicated by the project to Stepan Bandera – a polarizing Ukrainian Nationalist and politician who at one point considered working with his Nazi counterparts, but was ironically arrested by the Gestapo and eventually, years later, assassinated by the KGB. One album resulting in accusations that have – in all honesty – only made the project more alluring. Common sense should make the difference between historical lyric writing and actually supporting National Socialism starkly obvious.
Drudkh is the brainchild of Roman Saenko – one of the Ukrainian black metal scene’s most respected artists. Musically, in comparison to his other project, Hate Forest, Drudkh is a much different sort of entity. Their music an experience akin to standing just behind the window that separates the warmth of hearth & home from the frigidity of raging wintry gusts just outside – gale-force winds sweeping across a desolate landscape – bringing only death and ultimate sorrow. A balancing of the scales with equal parts soul and gloom. On November 11 of last year, Drudkh turned over to the next chapter in their fabled story with “Всі належать ночі” (All Belong to the Night) under the gaze of France’s Season of Mist.
“Всі належать ночі” is comprised of many parts – a gestalt recording that seduces the listener with a variety of sensual textures and rich tones. An artisan-produced album wherefrom even subtleties like the soft thud of the kick-drum, the warm buzz of the guitar and the soothing rumble of the bass draw you in deeper and deeper. Icy atmospheric elements and soft yet hearty chants introduce you to “Млини” (Windmills) – the most soulful and perhaps even the most melancholy of the other three tracks on the record. This low-energy work of elegant charm rolls along smooth as silk with gentle acoustics shimmering atop a mid-tempo’d but powerful melodic current.
Some parts of this record feel very jazz-inspired while others are obviously rooted in Ukrainian folk and Scandinavian black metal influences. Each and every fabric of inspiration interwoven into a genre-spanning wall-to-wall of comprehensive black metal. No one track truly standing out from any other in any definitive way as all are constructed using labyrinthine or sequential compositions. A more reciprocal approach could’ve yielded a more memorable product and been exactly what this album needed. Subsequently, I found “Всі належать ночі” to be a taxing listen despite its fluidity – one that doesn’t necessarily call you back for a second spin. Aesthetically gorgeous and epic from beginning to end, but consisting of questionably-melded-together parts that often bleed into others that simply drag on too long. Definitely worth your time, but boring in comparison to Hate Forest’s “Innermost”, which was released a month later.
Drudkh’s story is one of outclassing one’s antagonizers by allowing the music to speak for itself. And as the witch hunt for fascism in black metal rages onward like a drunk whirling under the sway of his own staggering momentum into someplace he knows nothing about before eventually planting his face on the floor, Projects like Drudkh, Hate Forest, the aforementioned Satanic Warmaster and Mgła just continue to dodge the fat bastard all the while as they create some of the genre’s most captivating music to the enthrallment of listeners old and new.
Experience “Всі належать ночі” by Drudkh right here as presented by Season of Mist: