Drottnar – “Stratum” (2013)

Get out your gas masks and your Russian WWII uniforms, the weirdest of extreme metal bands from the outer fringes of the Christian scene are back! Stratum is their second output as a self-styled “bunker metal” band after their last stylistic reorientation. If you liked Welterwerk, this album is a must… But even if you didn’t you should give Stratum a try.

I still cannot make up my mind as to whether Drottnar are political or just in love with the USSR aesthetic… even after having studied the lyrics (well, those that weren’t in Norwegian). To be honest, most of it sounds not much more political than A Perfect Circle’s “Counting Bodies Like Sheep”. Anyhow, this CD really appeals musically. All the stop-in-mid-guitar-part breaks –

and then the –

ERSATZ! –

just what you wouldn’t expect!

And yet on Stratum Drottnar add a lot more catchiness (!) to most of their tunes than they did on Welterwerk. At least that’s my impression. There just seems to be more harmony (for lack of a better term) in all the musical mayhem. Maybe it’s also the better-sounding production that makes this album my favorite from the band immediately… The black metal blast parts (including all the unexpected breaks and twists) are extremely precise (as they were on Welterwerk), the vocals are still probably what is the most “traditional black metal” about Drottnar. The CD booklet is beautifully designed – the physical CD version is well worth it (let alone if you wish to understand a word, the lyric booklet comes in very handy).

Image

The CD advert from their homepage.

If you need to listen to a track, go ahead and listen to ALL of track 4 – “Soul Surburbia” with its haunting breakdown section in the second half!

Or check out this official video on Youtube:

In one sentence: ERSATZ; WO IST MEIN MEGAPHON UND MEIN DEUTSCHWÖRTERBUCH?

relaxed          _ _ _ _ X aggressive

introspective _ _ _ _ X  outspoken

rough       _ _ _ X _ polished

juvenile  _ _ X _ _ mature

ps. Yes, the jumbled-up syntax above was a verbal homage to Drottnar’s chaotic style.

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