I will write this review as a “thank you for your music!” note for this band.
Quantic Club venue was embraced with the presence of one of the most renowned Romanian metal acts. Dordeduh celebrates the 10 anniversary with an exclusive set of songs, with lots of friends and a great ambience.
Ten years ago, Hupogrammos and Sol Faur left Negura Bunget and created a new musical project that soon became the centrepiece of the Romanian metal scene. Since its inception, this band has written and released stellar music. They caught the attention of the metal community with EP “Valea Omului” and ‘the album “Dar De Duh”. They were one of the earliest Romanian bands to bring to the world, a more cathartic side of black metal, crafting a new musical concept called art-metal.
With only one full-length and one EP, this band was able to capture the essence of the Romanian soul and traditions. Dordeduh comes from three Romanian words, put together. “Dor de duh” means “Longing for the spirit”. according to the musicians, this fusion represents the struggle to express those meaningful values that make us human by uniting the soul and the spirit. On this occasion, the band unveiled three new songs, stunning pieces of art that transports you to other worlds, as they always do. Dordeduh is one of the bands who have never written bad music. Even so, those new songs surpass all, to become their best work. They are a part of the new studio album that will be released soon. The new compositions are not contained by genre restrictions and are even more progressive than ever.
I first saw Dordeduh at Dark Bombastic Evening, in 2011 when they sang in a beautiful, welcoming atmosphere. Much has changed since those old days.
Without an opening act that should warm up the stage, the band began the two-hour show with full force. The first song was “Zuh”, a 14 minutes track, taken from the “Dar De Duh” full-length.
For one decade, they’ve developed an uncompromising sound and have continued to strive for perfection with each new song. Time and time again, founding members, Hupogrammos (guitar/vocals) and Sol Faur (guitar), have proven to be a formidable team that refuses to rest. Merging elements from black metal, progressive music, and even death metal–their sound is truly original. For the lyrics, the band use the old Romanian language, so the overall feeling is very authentic. The well-crafted compositions describe ancient occult teachings, philosophy and transcendence often sought after by scholars and seekers of enlightenment. The music in “Dar De Duh” is epic and atmospheric, but also dark, raw, at times definitely brutal: the spectacular and technical guitar work provided by Sol Faur and Hupogrammos, relying on sharp tremolo-picked riffs, dissonant arpeggios, minor chords and often playing different patterns, is complemented by the intense drumming performed by the drummer from Methadone Skyes that accompanied the band on this occasion.
On stage was also Andrei Oltean, the lead vocal of the band E-an-na that enchanted us with the vocals and flute performance.
“Cumpat” was next and all the auditorium was thrilled. The song is emotionally raw and tonally gorgeous, like an uplifting experience. “Norilor”, another great instrumental song, began after a short break. The Semantron (toaca), a percussion instrument used in orthodox religious processions, clear the atmosphere with the sound of wood. “Jind de tronuri” began with the well-known breakneck pace, and then Sol Faur’s guitar starts that iconic solo. It is something strange about this guitar solo. It is so uplifting and light as if a bird takes its flight. Although its black metal, in essence, this music is so full of a magical resonance. The approach here is very different than many of the bands’ heavy riffs peers and makes for compelling playing from what seems like another planet.
“Jind de tronuri” begins almost like a surreal ritual song prior to transforming into a harrowing beast highlighted by hectic percussion and wavering tones.
The aforementioned soundscapes come back with “Tesarul de lumini” and “Hora Soarelui”, the last song of the evening. “Hora Soarelui” is a song with a magical aura. During the guitar solo on this song, Hupogrammos gaze becomes icy and still as he impersonates a wizard with inimaginable powers that want to hypnotize the entire audience. Every time I hear live this song, I focus on that mesmeric glance and it feels like everything else dissolves.
“Dar De Duh” speaks bold and visceral about the quest for knowledge and skill in things beautiful, and the highs and lows that accompany that quest — from magnificent opening track “Jind de tronuri” which convincingly explores the experience of knowledge to the last song “Dojana” that is so beautifully crafted. Using another traditional instrument called tulnic, the band members evoke the past times.
From the start, I noticed Alina’s absence; she was in charge of the xylophone in the past live appearances.
Dordeduh built their signature sound by now,“Om” and “Dar de duh” are two milestones in the Romanian music history. I’ll take the risk and say that the comparison I can use in the case of this album is Phoenix’s “Cantafabule” album. All the songs here are equally catchy and straight-forward in structure.
In terms of perspective, the band will take part in Dark Easter Metal Meeting 2020 in Munich together with Imperium Dekadenz, Mork, Wormwood and other bands, and, as far as I know, a new album is on its way.
I was sitting in the front row near the stage at one of their first shows in Bucharest, at Lenoir club when they still used corpse-paint and sounded raw and trv, back in the late 90. I was there, not in person but in thought, when the dissolution moment occurred and they start this new project. So I’ll take this opportunity to thank them for the wonderful music and hope to see them soon!
Photo credit: Gheorghe Paraschiv