While they may not be one of black metal’s household names, Drudkh are arguably one of the finest bands the genre has seen. The Ukrainians have gone on to be hugely influential, and many within the underground consider them one of the most important bands to come along since that initial burst of Norwegian acts in the 1990s, whose first four records are rightfully regarded as classics in their own time.
The band, who were formed by guitarist Roman Saenko and vocalist Thurios in 2002 when they were then part of Hate Forest, accentuated the atmospheric side of black metal most prominently pioneered by Burzum, and turned it very much into something of their own. Influenced by their native culture – particularly the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, whose work they use as lyrics – Drudkh turned a style of music that was beginning to turn a little stale stylistically. Not just that, they did something original, brilliant and highly distinct with it, their misty, mesmeric quality provoking raw human responses in a genre frequently more focused on the esoteric. Their earthy riffage went on to be integral both to the “atmospheric black metal” movement that dominated the underground at the turn of the decade, and to the woodsy sound more prominent now. It has not taken long for them to inspire others, as the guitarist and vocalist for Winterfylleth, one of Britain’s biggest, best black metal band explains.
“Drudkh have always been a hugely influential band to me personally, and were really instrumental in my wanting to start a band like Winterfylleth,” Christ Naughton tells Hammer. “It was Drudkh who really awoke my senses to the power and emotion that black metal could conjure up through an album, when I first heard Autumn Aurora in 2004. Latterly we had the privilege of doing a split release with them and being part of what they have become. Their newest album A Furrow Cut Short is probably their best since the first four albums and for me highlights how they are still as crucial in 2015 as they were 10 to 12 years ago.”
Listen to the new Drudkh album A Furrow Cut Short below.
A Furrow Cut Short is released on 20th April via Season Of Mist. Get your copy here.