Welcome to Day 13 of my ‘Album Of The Year 2021 Top 30 countdown’.
For some, the number 13 is unlucky. However, for me and my family, it has always been the opposite. And so I have no fear in bringing you another great album that impressed me this year.
Before I reveal my pick, however, please allow me to issue the usual reminder to check out the links at the bottom of the post to find out who made the cut in 2021, from 30 down to 19, as well as an ‘honourable mentions’ post. Oh and there are links to my lists from previous years too, as this is not my first end of year series!
Release Date: 14 May 2021
Score Of Much Metal: 94%
Another day, another band that came out of nowhere and hit me like a tidal wave. I’d never even heard of the Romanian band by the name of Dordeduh before I was presented with this, their sophomore release, ‘Har’. However, the striking artwork and the links to Negură Bunget convinced me to check it out.
As it happens, this was one of the best decisions I made in 2021, as ‘Har’ is a spectacular album, losing none of its sheen even seven months or more since it was released. As with other picks this year, I think there’s an element of my tastes broadening because ‘Har’ is a very varied and unique-sounding affair, full of ideas that I knew I’d like and others that I like despite thinking they’d not be my kind of thing. I’d not quite go as far as to say that Dordeduh’s music is avant-garde, but it’s not far off, thanks to the occasionally eclectic feel of some of the compositions.
But the most important factor that led to it justifiably ending up in my top 30 this year, is the way that it speaks to me. There’s a spiritual element to the album, an intangible quality, that means it feels slightly cathartic, maybe a little magical in places. A heavy note that shakes the foundations, a hypnotic beat, an earthy atmosphere; there’s just something incredibly impressive about the music on ‘Har’ that it was a no-brainer for inclusion in this list. If you’ve heard it, I’m sure you’ll agree, too.
What I wrote at the time:
“Dordeduh, taken from three Romanian words meaning ‘longing for spirit’ was formed in 2009 when internal tensions within atmospheric black metal band Negură Bunget became too much. Out went Edmond “Huppogrammos” Karban and Cristian “Sol Faur” Popescu to form Dordeduh.
‘Har’ stretches out to just over an hour and during that time, the eight individual compositions explore a myriad of different genres, ideas, and sounds, all wrapped up in a wonderfully powerful yet clear production …
So far, an eloquent, pithy summation eludes me. Instead, I’ll just say that ‘Har’ takes a core of black metal, but then adds Romanian-inspired folk, cinematic soundtrack music, Gothic, electronic, and progressive rock to create something even greater than the sum of its numerous parts.
What started out as a review into an album that I thought was intriguing and original, has turned into a review of an album that I have fallen in love with. I love the variety, the crushing heaviness, the quiet introspection, the way that it makes me feel as I listen, and the gorgeous melodic aspects that are incredibly strong but not overdone. ‘Har’ is a genuinely original body of work that is an absolute delight to listen to.”
Read the full review here.
The list this year so far…
Also, if you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here: