"Spiritual Battle" (8 Tracks. 40:01) Plankton Records.

Drottnar joins the legion of Black/Death metal bands exploding out of Norway. What we have here, in this CD, is a combination of two demos. The first demo (songs 1-3) was originally recorded as a Drottnar release, whereas the second demo (songs 4-8) were recorded originally as Vitality. No doubt the first three tracks represent the more recent sound of the band. As such, Iíll review each section separately.

The first three songs, recorded as Drottnar, are: "A White Realm," "Natten Pa Harmageddon" ("Night at Armageddon"), and the title track, "Spiritual Battle." These three tracks have a very primitive Black Metal sound. The guitars basically create a "wall of sound" that pulse and plod throughout. On the second and third tracks, the vocals sound a lot like Martyr of Antestor on the "Return of the Black Death" CD. Musically, though, the music is very different. I attribute this to the fact that the other four tracks on this CD are very much Death Metal in the vein of Mortificationís "Scrolls of the Megilloth" album. These first three tracks are not 500 mph songs like, say, Marduk or some other high speed band, but they are not the Antestor style either. I think a good comparison would be to compare it to the Ulver "Nattens Madrigal" album. In other words, they mix up the tempos and make use of dynamics. There is a fair amount of the melodic Black Metal style here, especially on "A White Realm" and "Spiritual Battle". These three songs reveal a band with a lot of potential.

Beginning with the fourth track, "Away from the Destruction", we hear the earlier (1997) recordings of Vitality that sound A LOT like Mortís "Scrolls of the Megilloth" album, or maybe "Post Momentary Affliction". Thatís a good thing as weíve sort of missed that lately. Even the bass and vocals sound like Steve Rowe; that is, except for the occasional black metal screech. There is even a line in song four which goes "sanctified by his blood" which is a dead ringer for the line in "Distarnish Priest". Fans of old Mort will want this CD just for these last 4 tracks. The other tracks are: "Doom of Anti-Christ", "Missing Souls", and "Frykt Ikke" ("Fear Not"). The last track is untitled but is less than a minute long.

To summarize, fans of true metal with enjoy this high quality demo on CD. Fans of trendy music should buy something else.

To order, send $17 U.S. or 120 NOK (this includes postage) to:


Berjmannsveien 18

N-1634 Gamle Fredrikstad


E-mail: drottnar@hotmail.com

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