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Drottnar - Stratum CD (album) cover

STRATUM

Drottnar

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.00 | 4 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Stratum" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian extreme metal act Drottnar. The album was released through Endtime Productions in October 2012. Itīs been six long years since the release of "Welterwerk (2006)", and I was beginning to think that Drottnar had folded, but they return on "Stratum" with exactly the same quintet lineup who recorded "Welterwerk (2006)".

Stylistically the material on "Stratum" continue in a similar technical black metal style to the style on "Welterwerk (2006)". The world war II themed lyrical concept is gone here though, and the lyrics on "Stratum" are more focused on despair and philosophy. The latter with a Christian angle, although the lyrics arenīt preachy or tasteless praises to the Lord. They do suggest though that believing in something greater than yourself could be a way out of the despair and sadness of this world. Wether you believe in that attitude or not, I think itīs a fair opinion and personally I donīt feel like I`m being preached to.

I remember listening to "Welterwerk (2006)" and experiencing a sense of disbelief that I was listening to a technical black metal release. Thatīs not something youīll hear everyday. Not that black metal canīt be well played and quite technical in nature, but itīs seldom one of the primary focuses of the style. Drottnar are a very different beast though and there is great focus on technical fusion influenced playing on both "Welterwerk (2006)" and on "Stratum". Although not as obviously jazzy (nor as insanely complex), a black metal version of Atheist isnīt the worst comparison I could make. The unfortunately rather obscure Polish band Shadows Land is another valid reference.

Drottnar are not only a very well playing unit, handling quite technical playing with what seems like ease, but they also write some pretty intriguing music. Loads of tempo changes and breaks, odd fast-paced technical moments (which sometimes remind me of early Mastodon), dissonance, and the rare more atmospheric section. The vocals are a blackened type of aggressive snarling. "Stratum" features a powerful, raw, and detailed sounding production too, so upon conclusion itīs a high quality release by Drottnar. Iīm not sure why it took 6 years to release (apparently it was already recorced in 2009), but it was worth the wait. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 4/5 |

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