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Review: Drautran - Throne of the Depths
Throne of the Depths

Label: Lupus Lounge
Year released: 2007
Duration: 50:41
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: March 2, 2009
Reviewed by: Baldr
Readers Rating
Throne of the Depths

Rated 3.9/5 (78%) (10 Votes)

Some bands have such a distinct sound that you can instantly recognize from their music where they're coming from. For example when you hear Immortal it won't take two minutes to summon the vast, frosty winter landscapes of Norway to your mind. Drautran from Germany manage to do the same with the stormy coast landscapes along the North Sea. Even if you've never been there, it won't take long for you to feel like you're actually there, thanks to the brilliant musicianship on display here.

It's not easy comparing Drautran to other bands as they incorporate a wide variety of the more symphonic Black Metal spectrum. The most noticeable influence is probably Emperor during the Anthems... era, coupled with the atmospheric sensibility typical to German Black Metal like Nagelfar. The band's sound is all about tension. The play of quiet, almost soothing passages contrasted with fast and furious guitar assaults is what makes this music so engrossing. As the icing on the cake, there is a perfectly balanced layer of keyboards resting over the whole sound. Rest assured that it doesn't get overbearing, they are instead quite tastefully accenting the rest of the music.

The vocals took me by surprise. Instead of the usual BM screams, vocalist Blutaar shouts his lines. This may need some getting used to, but in the end it fits the music perfectly. It's like he is standing in a raging storm shouting his curses against the never ending waves of thunder and rain. There are also lots of whispered and spoken parts too, whatever fits the situation best. With this, the vocals greatly add to the atmosphere.

The lyrics are also excellent, but you probably won't be able to enjoy them unless you can understand German. One of the greatest moments of the disc is the final of "Blót - Lohen Der Opferung", when Blutaar's whispers call forth the final guitar storm. There are lots of spots like this on the album where the lyrics greatly enhance the music. You'll definitely miss out on some of the impact if you don't get what's being said.

This is a powerful, refined album without any major flaws. The production is very good as well. The mix is well balanced but the instruments aren't perfectly transparent during the more intensive aural assaults. This isn't distracting however as it only underlines the sense of chaos of these moments. Absolutely recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: Throne of the Depths (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
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