HADES in June: Recording at Grieghallen 1993-1996 (and a hunt for the Chaucer poem)

June 1993: Alone Walkyng (demo)
June / July 1994: …And Again Shall Be
June / July 1996: The Dawn of the Dying Sun

HADES recorded all three classics at Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway.

Alone Walkyng was a very well received demo. The band printed a couple of hundred, another 1000 were made and sold by Wounded Love Recs. HADES signed to Full Moon Productions for their two albums.
Two songs from the demo were re-recorded for …Again Shall Be (Dec 94), the third (Alone Walkyng) was re-recorded for the third LP, The Dawn of the Dying Sun.

After legal issues with the New Jersey HADES, the band officially became known as HADES ALMIGHTY. They released two albums Millenium Nocturne (1999) and The Pulse of Decay (2001) then fell silent until a triumphant return – Pyre Era, Black! which was just released last month as a split with DRUDKH.

In the distro: we just added Dawn of the Dying Sun t-shirts in all sizes, full colour album-cover design!


Searching for Alone Walkyng & Chaucer…

The Dawn… album sleeve notes credit the title and lyrics for Alone Walkyng to “Richard Chaucer in 1572”. I think they’re referring to Geoffrey Chaucer who served King Richard II, even though that Chaucer died in 1400.
The “Alone Walkyng” poem was historically attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer but that claim has been dismissed by later academics, noting the author name had been “added by later hand” (see below). The poem is usually known simply as “Ballad”, “Virelai” (referring to the medieval French verse form it uses) or “Lover’s Lament”.

The disappointing seventh volume of Dr. Skeat’s edition, containing poems once attributed to Chaucer, has little poetical merit. Some of those poems belong to a later age, and are of no interest as illustrating Chaucer – false ascriptions merely, such as the pretty piece:

Alone walking, In thought playing,
And sore sighing, All desolate,
Me remembring, Of my living,
My deth wishing Bothe erly and late.

which for reasons both of philology and sentiment must be placed much later.

– Adolphus Alfred Jack (University of Aberdeen), 1920

The original source of this poem, and therefore HADES lyrics, is very likely from a late 15th-early 16th Century collection. The relevant page is below (right page – left column).
Note the author attribution in the left margin and the Middle English that closer matches the song lyrics (remembryng, lyvyng etc).


The complete book can be viewed at Trinity College, Cambridge, originally from the collection of John Stow.

The song Alone Walkyng goes back further than the demo, further than HADES! After AMPUTATION and the first IMMORTAL demo Jørn joined OLD FUNERAL briefly, replacing Vikernes on guitar, and recorded an early version of Alone… in September 1992 at Kardemommehuset. This session was never released (the band split around the time) but you can find the four songs on The Older Ones or Our Condolences comps.


DRUDKH / HADES ALMIGHTY – One Who Talks with the Fog / Pyre Era, Black! Full Stream Pre-Order


New material from both bands!

HADES ALMIGHTY released these songs last October digitally, this is the first time on physical format. It’s also their first release in over 14 years (The Pulse of Decay in ’01)!
DRUDKH’s side comes highly recommended – the first song is an epic that captures the sound and feel of vintage DRUDKH perfectly!! The split is essential for these two alone.

This release is available on CD and Vinyl (black vinyl and transparent red, both hand-numbered). All formats are currently available from the distro.

DRUDKH – Той, Хто Говорить З Імлою

HADES ALMIGHTY – Pyre Era, Black!

Record of the Week: DRUDKH – A Furrow Cut Short (Review)

Record of the Week

Drudkh artist store


To be a Soviet citizen means to be a slave. I am not fit for such a role. The more I am tortured and abused the greater is my resistance to my slavery and to the system of abuse of a man and his elementary rights.
– Vasyl Stus

A DRUDKH album musically continuing it’s lineage from Eternal Turn of the Wheel, with an emotional attachment, clear and distinct, to the present. Powerful as ever: arrangement, production and performance! Layering, depth, melody and aggression. Guitars again carve great monuments with gradual progressions (a prog- moment too); drums show impressive variety amidst a solid, driving force. This album eliminates virtually any leading intros and non-musical elements, every second is advancing with urgency. An iron focus and absolute belief. Unbroken momentum with frequent eruptions of grandeur as few others can achieve. Having themes and lyrics derived from dissident poets, the connection to the past two years is clear. Songs of loss and anger, reminiscence and a new clarity. Songs of strength and resistance!

When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls… Drudkh Tapes Out Now

This then is our glory,
The glory of Ukraine.
Thus, you too should read it,
So that all the falsehoods
Won’t be living dreams,
So that lofty mounds will open
Right before your eyes,
So you may ask the martyrs,
Whom, when and why
Each was crucified!
– Taras Shevchenko, 1845

All DRUDKH albums are now available on tape from the distro.

DRUDKH embrace epic folk-influenced melodies and create cinematic and luxuriant atmospheres charged with bitterness, melancholy and sorrow. Lyrically creative figurehead Roman Sayenko delves into nature mysticism, the passing of seasons, philosophy, Ukrainian mythology, legends and history – often inspired by the works of nineteenth and twentieth century Ukrainian poets.

These tapes are a co-release between Night Birds Records, Kharkiv, Ukraine and Todestrieb Records, Ipswich, England. This underground cooperation has resulted in tapes from Judas Iscariot, Peste Noire, Helheim, Wallachia, Usurper, and Grift. More releases are ready to be announced in September.


Drudkh – Forgotten Legends


Drudkh – Autumn Aurora


Sleep, Cossack, earnest soul!
May someone yet recall you.
– 1841

Drudkh – The Swan Road (Лебединий Шлях)


Drudkh – Blood in Our Wells (Кров у Наших Криницях)


Drudkh – Songs of Grief and Solitude (Пісні Скорботи і Самітності)


Drudkh – Estrangement (Відчуженість)


Drudkh – Microcosmos


Drudkh – Handful of Stars (Пригорща Зірок)


Drudkh – Eternal Turn of the Wheel (Вічний оберт колеса)


Taras Shevchenko Monument, Kharkiv

Drudkh Albums on Tape: Coming Soon from Nightbirds and Todestrieb Records

Out now! See all Drudkh releases here.

We previously announced a new collaboration between Nightbirds & Todestrieb to present every DRUDKH album on tape in July of 2013, planning to release later that year. Events that erupted in Kyiv a few months later, and continue throughout the country to this day, meant a necessary delay but always the intention to release as soon as was possible.

A year later, with battles won and lost, new heroes forged on burning streets; and despite threats still brewing, the release is close to complete.

Covers are currently being printed in the north-eastern city of Kharkiv and we hope to have them in hand by early August.

This will be a new way to hear these albums, you can of course also find them currently on CD, Vinyl and digital formats.

Cover art for the nine releases can be found below, all arranged by Sir Gorgoroth (who also created layouts for the original DRUDKH releases as well as HATE FOREST, NOKTURNAL MORTUM and others).

Inspired, created, recorded, designed and printed in Kharkiv, Ukrayina

Taras Shevchenko Monument, Kharkiv


Drudkh albums on cassette coming soon from Todestrieb Records

Слава Україні !
Героям Слава !

We are proud to announce that all DRUDKH albums will be released on cassette later this year. Currently scheduled for Autumn.

Drudkh and related bands

This is part of our continued partnership with Nightbirds Records, an underground union that has so far resulted in releases from Peste Noire, Judas Iscariot, Helheim, Usurper, and Wallachia. More releases are already planned.

Hutsul Girl

Incoming: Old Silver Key (featuring Drudkh members and Neige from Alcest)


OLD SILVER KEY, the new band born from the hyperactive mind of DRUDKH mainman Roman Sayenko and consisting of four DRUDKH members plus French artist Neige (ALCEST, AMESOEURS) on vocals, named their debut album “Tales of Wanderings”.

  1. What Once Was And Will Never Happen Again
  2. November Nights Insomnia
  3. Cold Spring
  4. Nineteen Winters Far Away From Home
  5. Star Catcher
  6. Burnt Letters
  7. About Which An Old House Dreams

Here is the OLD SILVER KEY that opens the door into a world of witches, cunning foxes, talking wolves, where a poor farmer’s boy wins the hand of a princess while the prince sulks as a frog. “Tales of Wanderings” take you into the fairy tale world of childhood and logs burning in the fireplace. Yet there is often a twist darker than the stories of the Brothers Grimm to these songs. This comes as no surprise as the mastermind behind the musical tales is Roman Sayenko of DRUDKH. Having explored more progressive ways on their latest output “Handful of Stars” (2010), Roman decided it was time to go even further, but in a new project. In ALCEST singer Neige, the Ukrainian found the perfect collaborator and the OLD SILVER KEY was born. All members of Drudkh gladly joined in the making of “Tales of Wanderings” that only offers a murky glimpse of the Black Metal roots and turns to something warmer and lighter without losing the raw earthen spirit, which the band reluctantly calls Post Rock to give their brainchild a name. Yet OLD SILVER KEY offers something more, which is hard to describe, but takes you on a mental journey full of amazement and wonder. Close your eyes, listen carefully and discover a new side to the Ukrainians!

Incoming: Nightbirds Records Latest Tapes

Nightbirds is run by Roman S. of Drudkh and Hate Forest and over the past few years has released numerous cassette editions of some great albums.
We will be stocking their latest releases shortly. The label will be releasing it’s final cassettes in December.

Coming soon:

NOCTURNAL DEPRESSION (Fra) “Four Seasons Of Depression”
NOCTURNAL DEPRESSION (Fra) “Nostalgia – Fragments of a Broken Past”
THRAENENKIND (Ger) “Eine Momentaufnahme – Der Rest ist nur Einsamkeit”
DEADWOOD (Swe) “8 19”
DEADWOOD (Swe) “Ramblack”
BLACK CIRCLE (Swe) “Behold My Visions And Wisdom”
BLACK CIRCLE (Swe) “The Distant Wind”
ACHERONTAS (Gre) “Theosis”
NIHASA (Gre) “Brahamanda Xul Grimoire”
SHIBALBA (Gre) demo
NERGAL “Wizard Of Nerath”
TRAGEDY BEGINS “White Colour Crimes”

Review: Velnias – Sovereign Nocturnal

Review by: Meriel Longmore
Review score: 3/5

“Sovereign Nocturnal” consists of three epic nature-inspired tracks of Pagan / Down-tempo / Folky Black Metal. Although this looks like an EP (and is also priced as an EP), it is actually more like a full length album as the tracks are such lengthy compositions. However, it is easy to see why the tracks had to reach such proportions of length. The emphasis here is most certainly on gradually building towards Post-Rock / Post-Metal style crescendos whilst also creating a sombre and majestic atmosphere. The subtle development of the shadowy atmosphere here is something that certainly can’t be achieved through break-neck speeds or crudely thrown together melodies.

VELNIAS use mature song-writing techniques (border-lining on progressive), making use of many moody acoustic passages and slow, sorrowful riffs that gradually build and shift throughout each track. Although it is possible VELNIAS may appeal to those who follow bands such as ENSLAVED, DRUDKH, AGALLOCH, OPETH, and suchlike, the formation of the songs on offer here actually have more in common with the techniques used by bands such as later ISIS and PELICAN, though VELNIAS offer a more melancholic approach to this style and of course a strong Pagan flavour. The Pagan sensibilities and themes are evident throughout the release, from the roughly performed vocals, to the aesthetics, track titles, band name, warm-sounding guitar and bass and also the unobtrusive samples taken from the natural world. This is basically a risk-free release as you know what should be expected, there is little doubt of this. It would be fair to say that this release is an ideal choice for those who are dedicated and perhaps obsessive followers of the Pagan / Progressive / Folk area of Black Metal as “Sovereign Nocturnal” is a more subtle offering than most in this genre though it is not without intensity, due to this fact the release may also be a good choice for those who follow Post-Rock and are looking for something a little different to their usual choice of music.

Overall “Sovereign Nocturnal” is a very promising and sensitively composed release from VELNIAS, however it is likely their very best output is yet to come (with “Sovereign Nocturnal” being their first official release following a demo recording). The band have well-established and strong ideas when it comes to the inspiration behind their work and so this focused attitude will no doubt continue to yield interesting and hypnotic results. VELNIAS are certainly what may be considered an “outsider” Black Metal band along with acts such as the arty and serene WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM who also base their works on nature. To sum it up; “Sovereign Nocturnal” is a superb choice for environmentalists, experimental Metallers and modern-day heathens.

Podcast: Arrrrrrrach – Looking At Blue Lights In The Dark


These songs of note, plucked from my listening habits over the past few months, have all become real gems in my cd player. There’s no Warning on this, because Kz put one on his.

  1. Kill – Deathmessiah
    I picked this CD up on a Whim, whilst visiting Mr Nova UTDS and it fills a foul little gap that needed filling. My favourite thing here is the bass drum sound, which sounds like flak in the distance. Actually, it is the best bass drum production I have ever heard. (liable to change.)
  2. Drudkh – Ars Poetica
    This is from the latest Album and leaps out to me. The chords are unique, just wish the drums sounded better.
  3. Reverend Bizarre – Dark Sorceress (Barathrum Cover)
    Lots and lots and lots is what I listen to this. In many ways I prefer it to the original, which was already a very cool song. Here, it is less evil and more anecdotal and this suits, as it is a bit of a poem.
  4. The Smiths – This Night Has Opened My Eyes
    I used to hate The Smiths, but then, whilst watching ‘Caterrick’, I found that I no longer hated Morrisey’s voice. So a few months later I went and bought a few Smiths albums; this is the song that I like most.
  5. Mystifier – Aleister Crowley & Ordo Templi Orientis
    Again, a fairly new band on me, but this really stands out. This has made me reconsider song-structure and the part where he says ‘Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-listeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr crouwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww-leeeee…..in-orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-do-teeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-mpli-orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-ieiiiint’ is actual magic, really happening.
  6. Fairport Convention – The Deserter
    Another folkie, I was having a lot of trouble and burnt out two cigs choosing between this and ‘Crazy Man Michael’, but this wins in the end because and I‘m putting it down to mood. P.s. Never trust comrades or your sweetheart, because they will sell you out to the first bidder. Place your trust instead in the highest bidder, Prince Albert, who it turns out is alright.
  7. Striborg – With Animosity I Bequeath Thee
    It’s raining it’s pouring Striborg is fucking great, lots of people say the opposite and I can see why one might disapprove of absolutely ridiculous amounts of delay and fuzz, but it is these two things which makes the sound so alien. Cracking drumming here, reminds me of fenriz on Goatlord. Turn up the fucking verb I can‘t hear it!!
  8. Charlotte Greig & Johan Asherton – Lay the Bent to the Bonny Broom
    Taken from the ‘John Barleycorn Reborn: Dark Britannica’ compilation, picked up when I was on a folk rampage. This track is very soothing and understated and features a nice, simple guitar progression. The aforementioned compilation is well worth picking up , being both very diverse and excellent value.
  9. Manilla Road – Dreams of Eschaton/Epilogue
    This is the appropriate finale. If I could drive and then if I bought a car, I would play this when the wheels went round.

Direct link to this Podcast.