Music Reviews, Vinyl Reviews

Dordeduh – Har (LP, 2021)

It’s been a while…almost 9 years since their debut LP. It is not that the band was into hiatus, it just some natural way of life in between. Raising children or getting married are just to name a few of those life happenings that occurs in normal circumstances in a man’s life.
In all this time the core band’s duo was active more in the background with music related activities & live performances from time to time. It is also a known fact that the band has its own studio and that it helps other bands as producers, or helping with live events, lights and sound on stages, with logistics and hands-on activities for the metal scene.

It’s that the Covid crisis had also an important impact, indeed, subtracting one whole year or more from the active times with music, the one that is most enjoyed live, in great festivals.

With some prior preparation in 2019 the band filmed an anniversary show, which was intended for a release. I think that all the meta aspects of the planned release were set ready that year, the band embarking in studio in early 2020 for the actual recording of the album.

With all this background details, going to “Har” the new album release, we can say it offers some surprises. At a first listen of the album, I can argue that this is an evolutionary step in the band’s life. And that the overall vibe of the album is fresh and more stylistically dynamic as maybe one was expecting. Has illuminating spaces juxtaposed with brief harsher, furiously guitars and gutturals and adorned with atmospheric parts.

Stylistic there is a departure from the pagan like black metal of Negura end even from their debut “Dar de Duh”. We hear a modern approach yet in a hard to categorize style, the music can be tagged as: progressive metal with world and ambient elements. World elements are derived from that modern-sounding now, stylistic adornments that they are still rooted in the Romanian areal, to that spiritual space, very specific, maybe unique. Indeed the Romanian lyrics are again a powerful aspect, and generally aims to a spiritual fulfillment, a journey towards peace with oneself and the world. But also a bit of resentment, giving up the fight. “Art is rebelling against the fate of man” when that is over, we are carried on the waves of life, with no opposition. “Har” sits around this dual space of rebelling yet let yourself carried on, tired of fighting, to the actual wave of life that reveals itself and we can’t do much, we are small.

Overall a bold stylistic statement but it is a successful one, a release that pushes the boundaries, both musically and conceptually, regardless of the music style, making it a great listening experience.

Maybe one of the most important aspects sound-wise is that this time the band handed both the mixing and mastering to another pair of good ears: Jens Bogren’s. This has very much to do with the arrangements and final sweet spot that was added to the sound. Indeed sound-wise this album has a sweeter spot than the former records like “OM” and “Dar De Duh.” While the former are rawer and harsher, this one is just there, more actual, as the current production styles of big bands.

The recorded live anniversary show from 2019 was also released with the “Har” album, in the form of CD/DVD for the special 3 CD art-book edition. So there is plenty of material to enjoy on this release.

The double LP release of “Har” is in two variants, gold (limited) and standard black (no limitation info). The quality of the pressing is fantastic, because of the double LP the tracks had space to breathe. At 2 tracks per side, there is no compromise, no thin sound, no distortion.
At the time of the release and of this writing the gold edition vinyl is already sold-out. There is also the standard digipak CD and artbook 3 CD edition. Official release date 14th of May 2021, by Prophecy Rec. ( (c) C. Stefan, 13th May 2021)

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