As usual all the titles and lyrics of the album are in Ukrainian and the band provides an English translation of the titles (but not of the texts); for convenience I will use the English translations. The Eternal Turn of the Wheel is a much harsher album than Handful of Stars: the tempos are often very fast and furious, even faster than Forgotten Legends and Autumn Aurora. These albums were characterized by a very gloomy atmosphere, and the rhythms were generally slow; besides the sound was raw. For these reasons, I do not think that The Eternal Turn of the Wheel is a return to the past; I disagree with those reviews that have interpreted this album as a step backwards. On the contrary, The Eternal Turn of the Wheel shows a significant technical improvement, an almost perfect production and polished sounds like never before; the arrangements are very accurate. The performance of the drummer and the rhythm section is considerably improved compared to the past and is high qualitative.
This is clear from the very beginning: after the short intro with a guitar arpeggio “Eternal Circle”, “Breath of Cold Black Soil (March)” starts with a very fast riff; and this is not just an episode. Such fast rhythms are unusual for Drudkh, who is able to alternate a wide range of rhythmic solutions. This becomes evident in the final section of “Breath of Cold Black Soil (March)”, in which, against the background of a slow riff, drummer Vlad evolves the rhythmic pattern by transforming it from a slow jazz-like tempo into a fast blast beat. Drudkh, however, has not abandoned the typical ingredients of their sound, such as arpeggios, keyboards, synths, meditative atmospheres. These elements alternate throughout the album with harsh riffs. For example, the closing part of “Night Woven of Snow, Winds and Grey-haired Stars (December)” is very reminiscent of the typical style of Drudkh. The screaming style of vocalist Thurios is a bit dull as usual. In general The Eternal Turn of the Wheel is much more straight to the point than the previous albums.
All texts are in Ukrainian, and since I do not know this language, this time I am not be able to talk about the texts; I can only guess that they deal with themes derived from the Ukrainian folklore. The titles of each song contain the name of a month corresponding to one of the four seasons of the year; therefore, also judging by the title of the album, I imagine that the texts are about some aspect of Ukrainian folklore or mythology regarding the cycle of the seasons.
In conclusion, The Eternal Turn of the Wheel is a masterpiece that combines perfectly harshness and atmosphere.
Вічний оберт колеса (Eternal Turn of the Wheel) was released on February 24, 2012 in Europe and on February 28, 2012 in USA through Season of Mist. Available as both a CD digipak (limited to first pressing) and a vinyl LP (complete with download card).
1. Вічне коло (Eternal Circle)
2. Подих холодної чорної землі (Березень) (Breath of Cold Black Soil (March))
3. Коли боги залишають свої смарагдові чертоги (Серпень) (When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls (August))
4. Прощання зі скорботними птахами осені (Жовтень) (Farewell to Autumn's Sorrowful Birds (October))
5. Ніч зіткана зі снігу, вітрів та сивих зірок (Грудень) (Night Woven of Snow, Winds and Grey-haired Stars (December))
Krechet - Bass, Keyboards
Vlad - Drums, Keyboards
Roman Saenko - Guitars, Bass
Thurios - Vocals, Keyboards