DROTTNAR — Stratum (review)

DROTTNAR — Stratum album cover Album · 2012 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Kev Rowland
It has been seven years since Drottnar’s debut ‘Welterwerk’, but at long last the Norwegians are back with their second. This is a highly impressive album, bringing together elements of technical, black, death, industrial, avant-garde and just about every form of extreme metal one can think of into something that is colossal in so many ways. The sound is incredible, large, loud and incredibly clear and concise so that one can hear just how much the bass is adding in terms of nuance, and all power to Tom Kvålsvoll (Emperor, Arcturus, Borknagar) for a wonderful job on the mastering. Although this album is technical on so many levels, with a cold bleakness that makes me think of an industrial complex in the middle of winter, there is also something that is inviting – as if there is a fire made of burning branches to welcome in the traveller.

The complexity of this music cannot be understated, with incredible note density that can give way to emotion and angst, or dischord that can almost (but never quite) give way to harmony. It is frightening; it is compelling, schizophrenic and all encompassing. This is not music for everyone, as its’ very nature will push many away, but if you want your music to be extreme yet always maintain a sensibility and power then look no further. The very first time I played this I was incredibly impressed, and repeated plays have only cemented that opinion. This could well be the extreme metal album of the year….. www.drottnar.com
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