Dordeduh – Dar de Duh
Posted by Terrible Certainty Zine
It’s been a long wait, but the wait is over. Dordeduh’s time has come.
The mourning and hand-wringing caused by news of the acrimonious split of the much loved Negura Bunget has been largely unnecessary, as that band was (rightly or wrongly) reborn and carried forward by Negru and a new cast, and has started productively with Vîrstele Pămîntului and Poartă de dincolo. Sure, it’s not the same Negura Bunget, but far from a hollow shell of the band. Meanwhile, news of Hupogrammos and Sol Faur rebuilding with Dordeduh stirred an excitement and anticipation that was only stoked by the 2010 Valea Omului EP. Turns out fans will continue to be graced by quality output from both acts. But Dar de Duh? Well this is something truly special.
Like Negura Bunget, Dordeuh is intrinsically tied to its where. Its when is an entirely different matter. Part of the charm of the band’s folk-rooted black metal is its strong cultural identity. The folkish instrumentation, lyrics entirely in Romanian, and the musicians’ basic perspective and orientation all create an indelible fingerprint that’s a product of its place. The when, on the other hand? That’s trickier business. “Progressive” and “folk” may seem mutually exclusive, but Dordeuh have one foot rooted in tradition, while the other pushes forward to challenge the bounds of black metal.
There are stretches of full-throated black metal, but often Dar de Duh sounds as timeless as the landscape of its origin. It sounds silly to verbalize, but sometimes the music sounds as if it’s a product of the land rather than a collective of individuals. That it comes, if not from the land itself, then at least from a single source rather than a collective. It’s organic. And although on one hand I would like to know the lyrics, I’m glad they’re in the band’s native tongue. This all adds to the appreciable mystique and romance of the music.
Fans will be excited to discover that Dar de Duh serves as the long awaited fully realized follow up to Negura Bunget’s brilliant Om. Not that it’s simply volume two of that great album, as the work of Hupgrammos and Sol Faur continues a natural evolution, and was likely furthered by new and very capable bandmates. But listeners will quickly recognize that familiar sweeping, epic style and voice.
It’s rare that a heavily folk-oriented album hits the mark for me, but here that word eclipses its genre definition, the same way that one describes the band’s music as “progressive” without labeling them a prog band. Instead, Dordeduh weaves those folk elements throughout each song, sometimes to augment a more traditional foundation, and at other times wholly replacing traditional guitar/bass/drums accompaniment. This affords the band a wonderfully dynamic range, and they fully explore both ends of the heavy – ethereal continuum, and at times, do so simultaneously. Bridging the folk and black metal elements are interspersed guitar melodies, which are the closest link to a more traditional style. Through its fantastic variation in percussion instruments and styles, atmospheric keys, haunting clean and gruff vocals, and the variety of atypical instruments the band achieves a full breadth of mood and approach, but the album retains focus and the material ties together well.
Dar de Duh begins with the sixteen-minute “Jind de Tronuri,” but truthfully the entire album feels like one cohesive composition. One that requires your undivided attention. But block off your schedule, because while Dordeduh took its sweet time delivering its debut, they’ve packed the damn thing with enough material for two albums. The thing clocks in at a hulking 78 minutes. It’s a beautiful but dense listening experience that’s in turns haunting, fragile, menacing, and triumphant, and it’s wholly transcendent.
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Posted on October 23, 2012, in Review and tagged Black Metal, Dordeduh, Folk, Metal Album Reviews, Negura Bunget, Progressive, Prophecy Productions, Terrible Certainty. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.