Ukraine’s Black Metal bandits Drudkh have returned with their 9th full length album Eternal Turn Of The Wheel. Six tracks with a total run time just over 37 minutes the album is a return to form for Drudkh and a great start to the black metal releases of 2012. After having mixed reviews on their previous works: Songs of Grief and Solitude, Handful of Stars, and Estrangement, the band seems to have taken a step back and refocused as they did with Microcosmos. In typical Drudkh fashion the tracks are over the 7 minute mark in length (except for the first track which is an intro) and keep the folk/melancholic/atmospheric style. The album is well produced and the instruments compliment each other throughout each track, while the vocals propel the music. The cover artwork is an interesting piece on it own with hints of Van Gogh and foreshadows what to expect from the music.

The intro track “Eternal Turn Of The Wheel” is a folk-ish guitar tune that includes an eerie continuous gust of wind before fading away just as quickly as it started. The second track, “Breath Of Cold Black Soil”, is the longest song in the album clocking in at 10 minutes and is a well written song with a bit of a Burzum-esque feel. The music keeps your head banging and kept me mesmerized to the point that it had me hitting replay several times. It is a journey to the depths of what Drudkh brings to the table and shows the niche that Drudkh rules over. Roman’s guitar work is exceptionally well done and Vlad’s drum work is consistent throughout the album although there were certain drum parts I thought did not fit that particular part of the song.

“When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls” is an awesome track that starts out at a fast pace and progresses to mid tempo. The track really shows the musicianship of the band and accentuates the atmosphere. “Farewell To Autumn’s Sorrowful Birds” is a melancholic track that grieves with sadness. The eerie wind gust returns for this track and crescendos the music for the second half of the song with razor sharp guitar riffs that guide the listener to an infinite pantheon. The final track “Night Woven Of Snow, Winds, and Grey-Haired Stars” completes the album by providing a sufficient view of the band’s abilities. The track follows where “Farewell” and “Breath of Cold Black Soil” leave off and strives to further the listener’s journey into the world of Drudkh.

Overall this a great album to listen to and one for the collection. Eternal Turn Of The Wheel is full of blackened emotion and atmosphere with the right amount of musical progressivism to give it the right balance. Drudkh have risen to the occasion and produced a worthy effort. Anyone who has not yet heard Drudkh should check out the band and especially fans of Agalloch, Hate Forest, Bruzum, and Kroda.