Music Reviews, Vinyl Reviews

Dordeduh – Dar De Duh (CD/vinyl)

Dordeduh – Dar De Duh (Lupus Lounge, 2012)

“Good atmospheric black metal, experimental even psychedelic and folk influenced album”
Ancient Beliefs rating: 8/10.

And the story goes on by Edmond and Sol Faur…the long awaited Dordeduh release is finally available for ordering and even for free listening. The album begins with an electronic introduction, then a \’silence\’ moment: a quite fast and brutal intro with overlay-ed drums (a bit experimental, computer crafted mix) that right away projects you to the wall but also gives you a sign that they are alive and they try to “răzbească în stăruinţă” to do a great release. It is a track that marks the former Negura Bunget sound, especially what on the Om release was presented. A powerful experimental track, progressive, epic, psychedelic, mystic and with folk elements (with Romanian verses here). And the same goes on with all the remaining tracks but with some nuances…

The second track sounds very much like an Enslaved track (I am sorry I can\’t abstain from making comparisons, especially that the band has also done a cover track for Enslaved lately) from the \’Frost\’ era, images of majestic icy lands of the north, but track translated to Romanian landscapes. Ascending octaves, vocal choruses, keyboards, that quietly is dragging you into atmospheric spirals.

The third track is a small folkish ballad, with a dark ancient feeling, much like a soundtrack for a ritualistic movie with \’Iele\’: it is about our mystic feelings in these confused times, and how the \’Ielele\’ show us the more meaningful spiritual ways. I think this track makes a connection with the Sunset in the 12th house side-project – the more experimental project, artistically aligned to the todays experimental, post-rock, etc. It somehow continues the probably last tracks written for Negura Bunget, the acoustic ones on Maiestrit.

Ok, a short pause, now I have to wonder, why so much mysticism (needed-longed-worshiped)? What\’s the need for such \’beyond\’ after all? I always thought that there\’s a region in the brain \’programmed\’ for mysticism (a region that does not like facts of reality…). A region prepared to be filled with a need to get religiously involved in something. But for some this need gets filled with music, is their mystical refuge; while others have embraced religion. This region in the brain is quite strange…and powerfull. More music please!

This album I can see it also like \’a gift\’ for the extreme capitalists, they are tending to get this region of the brain uninformed, exactly the way their society is tending to uniformize semnifications and live in \’modernity\’. A society in which the one is searching the Psychiatrist to heal their spirit (there\’s no other way to turn to).

Calea Rotilor de Foc, is a brutal vocal track within the same compositional pattern black metal Dordeduh\’s now. The wall of sound produced with vocals is something powerful and interesting, the vocal skills are quite great on the whole album by the way, ranging from clean to screams. A simpler but nice long track, yet I do not think this will be my favorite track on the album. The pipe/flute is also heard a bit here but not that prominent (as for example on Martolea\’s album or Om). Instead some percussion effects are making the track more pleasant as expected and towards the end again peace and flute. I like the under-tuned bass that is to be heard from time to time marking and giving it a ‘Monumentum’-like atmosphere.

Talking about sound dissonances…the fifth track, very desolated at start…sometimes seems indeed de-tunned (a brief of Deathspell Omega crosses my mind), makes a good impression with its folk-ist cadence, a bit experimental also I would say, and I must say again it has the same approach Negura Bunget’s Om but seems not that \’motivated\’ rather pleasant to the ear than never. It is a nice track but in the end does not shine as expected, maybe it will on some more listens.

The production of the album is good, like Om, a clean master, feeling though the digital mixing but not very compressed nor much effects on guitars. The guitars are not as harsh as on Om (which for me is better so). A bit of sound difficulties can be sensed on the atmospheric parts, those delicate ambient parts when attempting to equalize them with the metal parts they become problematic. Here on this release they are left not so loud, that\’s OK. I am aware how hard is to have a good sound so these are just minor details that indeed do not take from the beauty of the release. I remember now the levels on Negura Bunget’s – Poarta De Dincolo EP where there is a sound problem with those ‘pushed over’ db levels.

Zuh I think remains my favorite track from the album, this is a new version of the track, a bit different as the one on the Valea Omului EP. Nice to hear it again in this re-worked longer approach. Those rhythm guitars drives me mad, a quite eastern ancient feeling the track reveals…opening a portal to that place where everything started, it is a wonderful, contemplative track. It is the same with the Cumpat, but this version is quite the same with the one on the EP, except maybe the pipe elements added extra now.

\”A tulnice sa sune!\” Ce mai ramane? Desigur ultima piesa: Dojana is not quite a metal track but more folk and ritualistic, a bit surprised that the band had chosen this track for an official videoclip. The Dulcimer sound is nice also the Tulnic sound but for me this is not the representative track of the album, which of course it is much more metal. One thing is also worth saying, about the imagery in it, it is interesting that I got the feeling I am standing between ancient Byzantine monks singing their ritual and…black metal. When looking at the music itself now, there is not that much resemblance with the \’evilness\’ of black metal back in the days. With this release Dordeduh is even far from that. Is this so important? You can reflect for yourself this subtle aspect.

Sometimes too sampled, sometimes too ambient and then too metal, the mix has the signs of overworking but overall the album rates from good to very good. Overall it is a nice album, with the members working at professional level, as expected.
Let\’s just have in mind how much the scene changed, mostly because how fast music can now be distributed. Due to this excessive digitization (mp3, etc.) I think that today the artists aren\’t that much motivated to create such intensive works. You start wondering for what? I think this is the most often asked question these days. Sometimes it is enough to have concurrency, it is enough to think you have to prove something, to sustain a prestige, but sometimes you just have to do it (pure artistic call). At the moment this is how I feel that Dordeduh stands artistically: putting a lot of feeling and will to create, they have to do it, there is something to prove also. It is a struggle, a kind of love-hate relationship with the art and with life.

Congratulations to Dordeduh for having the strength to go further even in these conditions. I am sure more live events will occur thus making a bigger \’raison d\’etre\’ for the album, these events are important, they could eventually motivate.

Kindness? Unfortunately it’s a “pain being pure at heart”…in the todays day by day life especially, there are only a few to appreciate it (a larger discussion could be: how the capitalist system contributed to that also…).
From this perspective I think I understand a kind of hidden meaning of this release, it is a manifest of the persons behind it, to rise a kind of awareness to a re-evaluation of moral qualities in man, the release is a mirror of what the two main members had lived in the last years, and I can sense there is a big change…and why not, there may be an answer to the question why the departure (or the need to close a chapter) from Negura Bunget…

As closing note, in 2012-2013 the labels are also adopting old mediums, this is a sign that the scene is re-directing for possessing, it is just not enough to click on music files!

“Dar De Duh” is available also in 2xLP edition:
1. Jind de Tronuri 16:19
2. Flăcărarii 06:42
3. E-an-na 08:24
4. Calea Roţilor de Foc 12:04
5. Pândarul 08:21
6. Zuh 13:46
7. Cumpăt 07:28
8. Dojana 04:45
and the 2 CD edition contains also the 7\” EP vinyl release plus the Enslaved cover:
CD2
1. Zuh – Cu tunetul muntilor
2. Cumpat
3. Ruun (Enslaved cover song)

Some say that the mix from the LP has slight differences from the CD version…

C.S.

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