Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dordeduh: Dar de Duh (2012)

Remember Om?

Review by Patrick, proprietor of Beards, Etc.

Dordeduh are an atmospheric folk/black metal band based out of Romania. Their formation came after a couple members split from Negură Bunget in 2009. This fall they released their first full-length album, Dar de Duh.

This music isn't easy to really pin down. With long, flowing tracks that smoothly shift from mellow to intense, they have a better grasp than most on the proper use of the soft/hard dynamic. And with little splashes of Middle Eastern folk flavor blended into some of the softer sections, in addition to some folk flavor from eastern Europe, there is a nebulous quality to their overall sound.

One an individual basis, everything is performed well. The bass plays a strong, relevant role in the music. The guitar drifts through a wide range of sounds, from straight black metal riffs to clean melodies to moody ambient noise. Keyboards help craft both the louder and quieter passages. Various band members also add hammered dulcimer, mandola, and what they call a toaca (the Romanian name for a semantron, according to Wikipedia) to further flesh out the folk aspects of the music. The production is well-suited to the music, with both the clarity to capture the minutia of delicate intro and interludes, and the character to allow the band's wide range of sounds and dynamics to come to life.

The vocals are not particularly outstanding on this record, but they really don't need to be. Lead vocal work is a relatively minor aspect of the music, with background chants and choral arrangements actually appearing more often than black metal rasps. None of this is to say that the vocals are bad. They fulfill their purpose, but they're just not the star of the show.

One minor complaint is that the music can drag a bit a times. This is a long record, running almost 18 minutes past the hour mark, and the music usually moves pretty slowly through that length. For the full dramatic effect there's really no way around this, but you do need a good-sized slab of time and a patience to get the full experience. Cutting a few minutes worth of soft interludes could probably strengthen this record a bit, but it really couldn't be tightened too much without losing the sprawling grandeur it exhibits so well.

Ultimately, this is a very good album. For those who don't mind taking the time to allow a record to unfold, this should provide a great deal on entertainment.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy Dar De Duh (2CD Special Ed.)

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