DROTTNAR — Stratum (review)

DROTTNAR — Stratum album cover Album · 2012 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Stratum" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian extreme metal act Drottnar. The album was released through Endtime Productions in October 2012. It´s 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 aren´t 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 it´s a fair opinion and personally I don´t 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. That´s not something you´ll hear everyday. Not that black metal can´t be well played and quite technical in nature, but it´s 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 isn´t 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 it´s a high quality release by Drottnar. I´m 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.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
BLACK SABBATH
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Blood Eagle Sludge Metal
GARBEAST
Buy this album from MMA partners
Inthronisation Deathcore
GRAVE INSANITY
Buy this album from MMA partners
Heir To The Cosmic Throne Stoner Metal
OLD TOMB
Buy this album from MMA partners
Death Day Stoner Metal
MOURNERS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Udkantsdansk Utopi Sludge Metal
UDSKUD
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Art of Illusion - Distance (official video)
ART OF ILLUSION
Tupan· 44 minutes ago
Art of Illusion - For Her (official video)
ART OF ILLUSION
Tupan· 44 minutes ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us