2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the birth of Drudkh, the by now legendary Ukranian band formed by original members Roman Saenko and Thurios and rounded out by long-time members Krechet and Vlad. As Ricardo stated in his review of ‘They Often See Dreams About the Spring’, a further history lesson isn’t necessary, and everyone will have their personal favorite Drudkh albums. I personally highly appreciate the first four albums but can’t deny gradually losing interest after ‘Estrangement’. I never fully lost track of the band, but I wasn’t really convinced of their material anymore until I heard 2018’s ‘They Often See Dreams About the Spring’. This was the first album since ‘Blood in our Wells’ that reminded me of the Drudkh sound I came to love, combining the driving force of ‘Forgotten Legends’ with a sound that the band have expanded in the years since the debut.
‘Всі належать ночі’ or, translated to English, ‘All Belong to the Night’, is the latest album by the band, and it finds me right back where ‘They Often See Dreams About the Spring’ left off. With ‘Нічний – The Nocturnal One’ the band storms out of the gates with the trademark up tempo riffs with entrancing subcutaneous melodies and bleak atmosphere. The track, based on the Yakiv Savchenko poem ‘The Victims Of The Nocturnal One’, is an immediate highlight that especially towards the second half of the song shows how far the band has come in terms of instrumental creativity. This is followed by the more medium paced and epic ‘Млини – Windmills’ and the, at least in the first and last minutes, doomier ‘Листопад – November’, although both songs offer plenty of change of pace to maintain the interest and typical Drudkh sound. The album closes off with the 15 minute ‘Поки Зникнем У Млi – Till We Become the Haze’, a song that starts with an incredibly catchy riff that even has a far-away vibe of the typical Hate Forest style that Roman Saenko is also known for. After about four minutes the track then turns into a more mid-tempo mood that expands through atmospheric and adventurous breaks as the album nears its end.
To quote Ricardo in the review of the previous album: “It grabs me from the very first second till the very last. I will not argue if they already have made their best album, but just be glad there are still acts around that can keep on delivering quality”. I couldn’t agree more. The most recent album may not surpass my absolute favorite albums by Drudkh and I would probably place it just a tad behind ‘They Often See Dreams About the Spring’. However, I will gladly add ‘All Belong to the Night’ to my collection of their highly enjoyable records and look forward to more of this typical Drudkh quality to come. (VincentP)