In 2003 a Ukrainian black metal band called Drudkh (the Sanskrit word for “wood”) released their debut album, Forgotten Lands. One of the long songs on the album was called “Eternal Turn of the Wheel”. Nine years later, Season of Mist is about to release Drudkh’s ninth album — Eternal Turn of the Wheel.
I’ve not heard much of Drudkh’s music — a song here, a song there, including a great (long) track called “Skies At Our Feet” from the Estrangement album that I featured in an NCS post about a year and a half ago and another great song called “Furrows of Gods ” from the Blood In Our Wells album, which Johan Huldtgren put on his list of the best 10 albums of the last 10 years in this guest post.
Late last week, NPR premiered a song from the new album, one called “When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls”. Season of Mist described the song this way: “”When the Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls” witnesses Ukrainian Black Metal heroes musically returning to their dark roots. Taken from the album “Eternal Turn of the Wheel”, which represents the ancient pagan cycle of the seasons, this track portrays the blue skies and Ukraine’s golden fields being harvested. The wheel turns to the twilight of autumn and leaves wither from emerald green to fiery red and blazing yellow gold before crumbling to the black and brown of winter…”
Unfortunately, the NPR page no longer includes the audio stream, but the song has surfaced on YouTube. And it’s quite a song.
The sound of thunder and rain you hear at the beginning becomes the sound of black metal thunder – hammering riffs and relentless double-bass, scything tremolo chords, a keyboard melody flying through the hard weather. A heavy, driving bass gives the song weight and adds to its power.
You can hear the seasons change about 2/3 of the way through the song. The crush of the instruments falls away and a guitar rings out in strumming solitude, joined briefly by the other instruments in an unusual interlude before the cold might of winter descends with fury at the song’s end.
Unfortunately, the YouTube track stops abruptly — about 20 seconds short of the actual finish.
Here’s the track list:
1. Eternal Circle 1:17
2. Breath Of Cold Black Soil 10:04
3. When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls 9:39
4. Farewell To Autumn’s Sorrowful Birds 8:02
5. Night Woven Of Snow, Winds And Grey-Haired Stars 8:12
Eternal Turn of the Wheel will be available on February 24th (March 13th in North America) as both a CD digipak and a vinyl LP with download card. Both editions can be pre-ordered at Season of Mist’s e-shop.