July 28, 2021 — In an eerie and distinctive release from the folk-touched cinematic metal act DROTT, Marauders emerges from the mist, conjuring a sense of spacious dread and surreal ambiance. James Paterson has listened carefully to the newest release from this unusual amalgamation of folk and darkwave electronica.
Coalescing in the pandemic seclusion of 2020 and making their first release earlier this year, DROTT is composed of Enslaved’s Arve Isdal, Ivar Thormodsæter of Ulver, and Matias Monsen. The Bergen-based trio has recently partnered with By Norse Music, an independent, label established by Einar Selvik (Wardruna), Ivar Bjørnson (also of Enslaved), and Simon Füllemann (AISA – All Independent Service Alliance LLC, All Access Agency) as a way to elevate and celebrate Norwegian art, music, and culture.
DROTT set the scene for their new atmospheric single with a short advance statement;
“The Marauders are not visible through the layers of mist. You can hear them hanging in ropes and sharpening their tools of mischief before their dire intentions are manifested through slow, dark riffs and slaughtering, heavy beats.”
The sound of swaying, creaking wood, giving way to rising percussion and intimidating swirling guitar riffs effectively sells the threatening aura of these ghostly Marauders. The uneasy air crafted by the sounds of DROTT is skillfully paired with disturbing monochrome visuals in an official video directed by the band’s own Arve Isdal (watch below.)
Fear at First Sound
Released ahead of DROTT’s first full-length record, titled Orcus this September, their latest single Marauders follows on the heels of the four-track EP Shikoba that dropped in March earlier this year. The EP’s title track, ‘Shikoba’, is an understated melancholy atmospheric instrumental that incorporates guitar drums and violins, to evoke a contemporary cinematic vibe, giving way at its midpoint to metallic grooves, acting as an initial introduction to DROTT.
Milonga Del Agya‘s plucked strings emphasize the more folkish elements of the DROTT sound, with sinister bluesy tones evoking haunted wetlands, a topic not too far detached from Dance of the Mylings. The Myling in question is a ghost of an unwanted child seeking a proper burial after being disposed of by their mother as lore tells, while the final track Numen incorporates Middle Eastern, Arabian-like vibes to emphasize its desert horror score.
Ultimately, these first releases present a cinematic instrumental score approach to music that creates a heady mixture of unsettling, ominous, and eerily familiar tones. These are songs that conjure spirits from a variety of mythos, cultures, and continents weaved together by a contemporary metal perspective. DROTT and their music is driven by a narrative attitude that runs all the way through their recent EP, the Marauders single, and if the descriptions accompanying listings for Orcus are to be believed, will continue on the upcoming album.
‘Marauders’ is out now by way of ByNorse Music on Spotify, YouTube, Deezer, and the usual rest, as well as Bandcamp — which is also where you can find DROTT’s upcoming album Orcus available for pre-order. Of course, ‘Marauders’ has also been added to the Kurgan Compass™ Spotify playlist, where fans can listen now.