Recording information: Viter Music, Kharkiv, Ukraina (2007).
One of black metal's most prolific groups, the Ukraine's Drudkh has been known to issue as many as two full-lengths a year, so the two-year wait leading up to their seventh album must have been especially painful to their small but devoted fan base. Via the unquestionably foreign (for lack of better word) aesthetic with which the band weaves majestic, slowly evolving melodic themes of unknown origin ("folk" being too simplistic a term) amidst the sparingly used, tired and token black metal elements one does expect, like blastbeat runs, buzzsaw riffing, and tormented vocal rasps. As a result, these rare reversions to black metal "normalcy" wind up giving MICROCOSMOS just the sort of sporadic, emotionally cathartic punctuations it needs to humanize its otherwise sweeping, cinematic flow, and keep it from descending into the calculated numbness of soundtrack reverie. Indeed, for a genre (black metal) characterized by grim-faced bands set on showing as little emotion as possible (lest it be violently negative emotion), Drudkh's astonishingly candid, almost romantic, approach to their craft allows their music to emote and, one might venture, say all that is left unspoken by their aversion to publicity.