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Drottnar - Welterwerk CD (album) cover



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5 stars Wow. That is about all I have to say here. Imagine if you took Spiral Architect (albeit without the clean, amazing vocals), Extol (Synergy era), and a whole host of other post-black, technical- as-they-come death metal bands, thrash, some industrial/marshal influences, prog leanings galore, and then dressed it up with militant ambience and attire. You come away with Drottnar. I was immediately sucked into this album, from the first stuttering, skittish riffs that assault you once the disc was started. Simply put, I have been looking for a superbly technical black metal band for a long time, and I think I have found the holy er make that unholy grail... of technical black metal. Even though they started out (much like Extol) as a "white metal" band (christian black metal- yep it's quite the contradiction)... they are now moreover concerned with philosophical leanings. The instrumentation is layered and lilting, cavorting through your brain like a mutant with seven legs- each one being a different length- which results in the forementioned stuttering riffs- call them mathematically complex... that is the appeal for me. The movements are not necessarily predictable and mutate in a pleasing and novel way. If you want your blackened death metal to be more proggy and extremely complex and technical, this is the audio assault to massage your ears with.
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Posted Sunday, March 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Welterwerk" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian extreme metal act Drottnar. The album was released through Endtime Productions in April 2006. "Welterwerk" is lyric wise upon initial listen a World War 2 concept album, but there is a bit more to it than that. There seems to be a political and social agenda to the concept as well. The World War 2 atmosphere is further enhanced by the band posing in vintage soldier uniforms in the booklet and of course as a consequence of song titles like "Victor Comrade" and "Niemand Geht Vorbei".

The music on the album is technical black metal (or maybe technical blackened death metal is more correct) and in my experience thatīs not a music style many artists practice. Imagine a combination of the twisted, gloomy and industrial tinged progressive black metal of "Supervillain Outcast (2007)" by Dødheimsgard and the technical extreme metal of "Unquestionable Presence (1991)" by Atheist and youīre half way there. The playing is on a high level by all involved. Technical precision drumming, sharp and twisted riffing (lots of dissonance) and an aggressive and raspy sounding vocalist in front. The tracks are generally complex and not necessarily memorable upon initial listen. The power of the music and the technical skills of the players are features that you instantly notice though and the tracks do start becoming more recognisable the more you listen to them, so itīs not necessarily a major weakness, but maybe a question of patience and repeated listens. Sometimes the fact that music is not instantly catchy and memorable only adds to itīs longivity, and thatīs certainly the case here, as "Welterwerk" is the kind of album that you can put on and find new details on every time you give it a spin.

Most tracks on the album are in the furiously fast played and aggressive technical black/death metal style that is the bandīs predominant style, but the track "Victor Comrade" is quite a bit different from the rest and works both as an album divider and as a "breather" among the busy technical riffing and chaotic atmosphere of the rest of the tracks. There is a kind of World War 2 movie soundtrack atmosphere to it with samples of people talking, a trumpet playing the lead melody, sirenes sounding, and bombs falling.

The 9 track, 52:04 minutes long album is a very well produced affair. The sound is detailed, powerful, and perfectly designed for the bandīs chaotic, technical, and aggressive music. So upon conclusion "Welterwerk" is a very strong debut album by Drottnar. An incredibly aggressive and technically well played release, that they can rightfully be proud of. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

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Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | Review Permalink

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