Momentum Scandinavia made it's debut as a label with the re-release of Antestor's first two demos under the title The Defeat of Satan. That release exposed us to the early days of Antestor in superb packaging. Very impressive and a great collector's item with numbered copies of only 999.
Now on the slate for the sophomore release of Momentum Scandinavia is Drottnar's new EP Anamorphosis. First off, I gotta say that the packaging is terrific!!! The jewel case is enclosed in a very nice black cardboard sleeve with indented black lettering. Although it took me almost an hour to get the CD out of the very tight cardboard sleeve, the effort was well worth it. The CD insert itself is an elaborate black cardboard with black glossy lettering. And of course, the CD is black with black lettering. To top off the gorgeous packinging is the fact that this CD is limited to 850 copies. So, another collectors item from the label that so far has held nothing back when it comes to artwork.
As if that wasn't enough, there is music to go along with this release! Drottnar's old material was very solid and showed great promise. And if you followed the band much, you noticed that the band had clips of these songs on their website for quite a while before this release. However, the clips really did no justice to what you hear on this disc. Drottnar's sound is mired in old school black metal and the music is grim and ferocious from start to finish (with a few small exceptions). The opening intro track "Morphosis" starts off slowly with soft guitar and a beautiful violin. However, before long the double bass kicks in with some demented vocals. The screams of "Saved is the one....Filled by the Holy One" are sweet! Awesome beginning to this album! The band kicks it in full gear by time track two "The Individual Complex" hits. This is a great song and the vocals are just plain sick!!! Horrifying blackish shrieks to go along with the nasty, dark riffs create a very haunting atmosphere. "Sin Climax" is up next and it starts with an eerie violin that is quickly joined by some downright brutal guitars. This song is the highlight of the album for me, full of blasting and aggression. The chorus of "Sin Cle-max" cracks me up cause of the singer's accent, but really, there is nothing funny about this song. This stuff will scary the pants off of anyone not remotely into extreme metal. "Concord" ends this 20 minute EP in great fashion with another great black metal song.
Critics are very likely to complain that Drottnar does nothing all that original here. However, the band does what they do extremely well, and that is playing savage black metal of great quality. This has done nothing but make me all the more anxious to hear what Drottnar's next full length will be like.
Another complaint may be the production. Again I'll disagree, cause I love the production. Black metal has always had that allowance for less than perfect production. Some people say that Horde's album had horrible production. I thought it couldn't be any better than what it was. It gave it a very ominous feel that would've been lost with a more polished sound. The same goes for Drottnar on this release. The less than perfect production gives the band the best sound I believe they could've had for this album. The guitar tone just kills in my opinion. And the drums have a great sound. Not to mention the wicked sounding vocals.
Drottnar also does a very fine job lyrically on this album. The topics express the bands faith creatively in a way that won't immediately turn off the non-believer. But at the same time, they are not so vague to where their lyrics are beyond understanding.
This album contains four songs that seriously have gotten better with each listen. I highly recommend this to fans of early Drottnar and old school black metal fans in general. A great collector's item that is sure to be scarce before you know it. (Review by Matt)