Inspired by the stories and tales of old Mythological Ireland, Belfast Northern Ireland based multi instrumentalist Dratna has been creating in the Black Metal genre with a trio of EPs in 2018’s “Altar” and “Clíodhna“, 2019’s “An Cath (The Battle)” which have set the tone for a forth offering entitled “Druid Winds & The Fall of the Celtic Gods“. Each part of this building jigsaw puzzle has put atmosphere at the forefront of the sound and this new EP promises to be no different, though the dramatic change in cover art to something more befitting of the genre is stark contrast to previous cover art…
…as with previous Dratna releases the sense of epic Black Metal grandeur is apparent from the very start of “The Sons of Mil: Death to the Tuatha Dé Danann“, which grips by the juggular and drags you kicking and screaming through the black forests. The Tuatha Dé Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland and befitting of them, this Black Metal opus has a burning energy of restless relentlessness that throws up nuances as it goes, much like Sonus Mortis. The gravelly vocals nothing short of demonic, while the sounds build from the deep into the sonic punch of jackhammer footwork in a final flourish of pure evil power. A tale of the harbinger of death, Cóiste Bodhar is told in “Arrival of the Cóiste Bodhar, The Death Coach” with the depiction of the four horse lead carriage approaching silently in the night is told with a flesh shredding ferocity. Dropping down into a melodic and almost melloncholic passage with flute and synths coming to the fore is a nice touch before build back up through blast beats to a blistering crescendo. That furiousity continues into “The Oldest Pagan” which has an addictive hook that doesn’t have its roots in Black Metal but is turned into it by the wizardary of the abrasive guitar tone and extra punch in the drums that turns the Vampires kiss into a bloody neck bite. A couple of lead flourishes and a sweeping solo add to the quality before “Banished from the Shores of Éire” returns to the kind of bleak sounds of Dratna’s earlier EPs and in particular “An Cath (The Battle)“. That is achieved with some melodic Black Metal riffs and chord progressions that could be easily transferred to another genre if it wasn’t for those wet broken glass gargled vocals. They audibly disguise the lyrics and at times act as an additional instrument of snarling, spitting, snorting venom [7.5/10]
- The Sons of Mil: Death to the Tuatha Dé Danann
- Arrival of the Cóiste Bodhar, The Death Coach
- The Oldest Pagan
- Banished from the Shores of Éire
“Druid Winds & The Fall of the Celtic Gods” by Dratna is out now and available over at bandcamp.