Autumn Aurora, the follow up to Drudkh's hugely atmospheric debut 'Forgotten Legends' , builds upon the debut's formula of sad, hypnotic, Burzumesqe riffs and reflective, mid-paced pagan black metal in a number of interesting ways. The songs have a folkier, more energetic edge this time round, with dynamic, even upbeat folk riffs taking a prominent role throughout, these often building to unrestrained melodic guitar solos that add a more hopeful and cheery dimension to the band's otherwise rather sorrowful sound. This is contrasted well with more melancholy, downcast sections, particularly on the excellent 'Sunwheel', which starts off sounding warm and celebratory before shifting to a slower tempo, plunging into a series of more sombre and despondent riffs to give the song a colder, more serious feel, suggesting a replacement of the warm oranges and browns of autumn with the cold, white, windswept desolation of winter.
Rain and wind samples are employed subtly throughout, and warm, semi-acoustic chords rub shoulders with dreamy, gentle synths, creating a tranquil atmosphere reminiscient in places of 'Hlidskjalf' era Burzum in its mesmerising quality. Album closer 'The First Snow' sees the 'changing seasons' theme through to its natural conclusion, with simple, repetitive and hypnotic synths and gentle semi-acoustic finger picking conjuring up an image of a pristine winder landscape half-obscured by softly falling snow.
Another truly beautiful album, 'Autumn Aurora' builds upon the raw, melancholy sound of its predecessor and adds new elements, masterfully contrasting warm and cold atmospheres to create another enchanting and timeless piece of autumnal black metal. Highly Recommended.
1. Fading 01:31
2. Summoning the Rain 05:42
3. Glare of Autumn 05:09
4. Sunwheel 08:47
5. Wind of the Night Forests 09:58
6. The First Snow 09:10
Total playing time 40:19