Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Durthang - Gathering in Dol Guldur album '15

Today I'm sharing and reviewing a band which I love very much - Croatian Durthang! This one-man band comes from small town in Eastern Croatia called Beli Manastir, it was formed in 2014 and so far Durthang has released a demo called Isengard Unleashed in 2014 and a full-length album titled Gathering in Dol Guldur in 2015. New album is going to be released soon and there are already some tracks from this upcoming album available for listening on band's Bandcamp. Morgoth, the only member of Durthang, is also vocalist in Wasteland, pagan black band from my country.

Isengard Unleashed demo was released digitally on Bandcamp and self-released as a CD, it included 3 songs which also appear on this full-length album. Gathering in Dol Guldur was released digitally on Bandcamp, as a CD by Winterwolf Records, and as a cassette limited to only 50 copies by Austrian label Schwarz Klang Produktionen.

I discovered Durthang and didn't expect much from it, I listened and I was so fucking surprised. I could not believe how good the album was when I first heard it! Yes, it's nothing new or original, just Tolkien and Summoning/Caladan Brood/Elffor worship, but I didn't really see it that way, as just another clone. I just really enjoyed it and ended up listening to Durthang over and over again as time passed. After few months, I noticed the Gathering in Dol Guldur album was not only released as a CD, but also as a very limited cassette. I knew I have to get it! I contacted Morgoth over a month ago, asked him if he has any copies of the tape left and he did so I bought. The tape is beautiful, it's a regular tape with sticker on both sides as you can see on pictures I provided in the arhive, and the cover layout is glossy thin cardboard/pro-cover printed on both sides in color. My copy is 4/50 and I am truly happy to own it and would recommend you to buy one (you can get it directly from Morgoth, just contact him on facebook).

This album contains 6 tracks and lasts for 42 minutes, I'd say it's more like epic Tolkien music than black metal, but I guess metal archives who are listing Durthang as atmospheric epic black metal are correct. I wouldn't really call Durthang's style black metal, it's more like Greek Erevos, style is somewhere in between dungeon synth and black metal, but definitely more synth than it is metal.

First song lasts for 9 minutes and it's perfect, the programmed drums aren't annoying to listen to at all, and the synths are just amazing; The tempo is slow and epic.
The second song starts with synths combined with Saruman's speech from the LoTR movie combined with beautiful melody on keyboards.
I'm a huge fan of Tolkien: I've read all books few times on English and translated on my native Croatian language, and LoTR are the movies I've watched so many times it can probably be considered unhealthy. So naturally, I recognized the speech on second Durthang song immediately, it's from the scene in The Two Towers, when Grima comes to Saruman's Orthanc and Saruman has his army and tells them to attack Helm's Deep. This scene gives me chills every time I watch it. Isengard Unleashed song is truly perfect, I don't think words can describe how epic it is, the atmosphere is like the calm before the storm.
The third song called Fall of the King is just as epic and to be completely honest, this entire album is too good for me to review it. I'm trying but I don't feel like it's going very well. I'd like not to write a wall of text every time I review something I really like, but it's like mission impossible because every song is literally better than the previous one. So I've decided to cut this short even though I'm so impressed with the album that I could write a book about it. I really could. I just have to mention that the last track is Summoning's South Away cover and it's glorious (but it will never even compare with Summoning's version, nothing ever will). I also have to say most of the songs on this album are instrumental.

The only remark I have is the incorrect spelling of the fourth track called The Shadows Lies upon His Tomb. It's not grammatically correct.

So let's just jump to conclusion which is - what's my opinion about the album. My opinion is that Durthang is by far the best Croatian black metal band from the bands that are currently active, and it makes me proud to be Croatian. I even think Summoning members would be proud of the work Morgoth did and does, if they'd listen to it. The conclusion is that Durthang is truly underrated and has extreme potential. Listen to it and enjoy as I truly am. And if you're a fan of Tolkien and Summoning, buy the original album.

                        Download my tape rip (mp3@CBR320kbps + pics and scans) @ yadi.sk

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