DROTTNAR — Welterwerk (review)

DROTTNAR — Welterwerk album cover Album · 2006 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
UMUR
"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 that´s 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 you´re 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 it´s 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 it´s longivity, and that´s 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 band´s 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 band´s 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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