Year of release: 2018
Released by: Season of Mist
Rating: 7,9 / 10
Tomorrow Non Serviam Records is releasing a new album of Belarusians RAVEN THRONE, and I can not help but note its close relationship with the 11th full-length work of DRUDKH, which was released almost two months earlier. Although these albums are still different, they have the same style and almost the same themes. The difference is that RAVEN THRONE shows Belarus through the poems of our poets, and DRUDKH this time devoted the album to the poets themselves. I've initially "They Often See Dreams About the Spring" as a return to the aesthetics of "Handful of Stars", so I was slightly disappointed with the mismatch of sound. But it turned out that the new album is a kind of tombstone over the mass grave of Ukrainian poets. More than 70 names and dates are engraved in the center of the booklet. Two more places and two key dates are indicated on its last page: Cherkassy, November 1, 1937, and Sandarmokh, November 3, 1937. The days when Soviet bastards destroyed key people of the Ukrainian cultural renaissance. Not that I am very concerned about the fate of the Ukrainian people, but, firstly, I hate the reds, and secondly, DRUDKH have managed to select especially expressive poems on this occasion. They almost making you feel the situation in which their authors were, as if you are in the 1930s, and the red plague is unleashed, and there is no ecape. Though there are no direct references to what is happening, even the usual lyrical fragments with descriptions of nature filled with tearing insanity as if they were written by a man who is walking by his native land directly to the gallows.
The album's problem is that its musical component, apart from everything else, is not very impressive. DRUDKH's songs are still much better than productthat modern atmospheric metal scene is producing, but there are no more hypnosis in these songs, no transcendentality and detachment. They are excessively balanced, clean, technically advanced, and even the emotions in them sometimes seem to be clearly planned. Of course, the correct perception of a music album is based on the understanding of all its components - sound, design, lyrics, aesthetics, ideology and so on. nd yet it's much better when there's enough music alone to express it all. Strictly speaking, it was the ability to speak with the listener through music that made DRUDKH what they are now. "Forgotten Legends" and "Autumn Aurora" perfectly worked even without words, their essence could be understood even by the man who is blind from birth. He just needs to listen a few minutes of this music. I'm sure if the band's career started with, say, "Eternal Turn of the Wheel", they would now be signed not on Season of Mist, but on some small label like Ancient Nation. I understand that the historical theme is better connected with a high-quality sound... but on the other hand, completely sloppy "The Swan Road", that is also historical to the core, is an unconditional masterpiece. Alas, I can't say the same about "They Often See Dreams About the Spring". Fortunately, now we have WINDSWEPT with their new record where old spirit of DRUDKH is living and breathing. I hope, this initiative is to be continued.
The artwork of the album is overwhelming, I'm not kidding. It was designed by the young artist from Kharkiv named Eduard Novikov. and I must say that it is completely different from his other works (if you believe the portfolio found on the Internet). The style of the design repeats, as if it's two drops of water - perhaps deliberately - the works of Nikolai Kupreyanov. It is not entirely clear why the Ukrainians suddenly borrow a style from an artist who lived in Moscow, was a fan of October revolution and was not even shot by commies, but just drowned in the river... well, musicians' ways are incomprehensible. the fact remains - in the booklet of "They Often See Dreams About the Spring" we can see the same triumph of straight lines, the desire for geometric leveling, black and white colors without any additional shades. And each of these paintings, at first glance very simple, is actually filled with a deep meaning, inextricably linked to the theme of the album. See more on a video. Undoubtedly, "They Often See Dreams About the Spring" should only be listened to with a booklet of a physical release in your hands. I'm not surprised that the underdeveloped eaters of mp3 spit out their usual portion of hatred on the album, and then forgot about it. However, no one cares about the opinion of the dirt that covers the underground roads. "They Often See Dreams About the Spring" is an excellent album high-quality album, in which a lot of work is invested. And yet I can not say that I feel a spiritual connection between us, as it waswith "Forgotten Legends" or "Microcosmos".