Eastern Frontier in Flames is a compilation of the band’s long out of print Anti-Urban (2007) and Slavonic Chronicles (2010) EPs and their “half” (more like three-quarters) of the recent vinyl-only Thousands of Moons Ago / The Gates split with Winterfylleth. My feelings on a release like this are mixed. On one hand, it’s awesome that Drudkh would reissue these rare EPs so that those of us who previously missed out can finally hear them. On the other hand, a band like Drudkh rarely releases an EP, so there’s a significant amount of time between when the songs on each one were recorded. There were three full-length albums between Anti-Urban and Slavonic Chronicles, though only one was released between Slavonic Chronicles and Thousands of Moons Ago (there were still four years between each EP, though). The difference in production and the songwriting is noticeable and it’s easy to tell when one EP ends and the next begins. In a way, this compilation gets better as you go along. Anti-Urban was kind of underproduced, having a guitar tone that was treble-heavy and paper thin. The music was also far more Burzum-esque than their later material, which was pretty representative of their style back in 2007. Slavonic Chronicles is more Slavic Folk-influenced and reminds me somewhat of bands like Graveland or Nokturnal Mortum. The songs on Thousands of Moons Ago are all cover tracks (Hefeystos, Unclean and Sacrilegium) and while they are done in the style of Drudkh, they really don’t fit in with the rest of the band’s material, although they do sound the best, with superior guitar tones and recording quality. I liked each different era of Drudkh’s music, but with so many years between the EPs, it really doesn’t represent the history of the band very well. Still, if you’re already a fan and you’re missing one or more of these releases, it’s well worth tracking down. The quality of the material here is very high, and though the sound isn’t consistent, it matches up with anything that Drudkh was releasing on their full-length albums at the time.
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