DROTT is an Instrumental Prog rock trio hailing from Bergen on the west coast of Norway. With their varied musical background ranging from metal and jazz to classical music, they create a distinctive sound which the band is fond of describing as “DROTT-rock”!
The three-some comprises guitarist Arve Isdal (previously in Enslaved), bassist Ivar Thormodsæter (previously in the Norwegian experimental electronica band Ulver) and drummer Matias Monsen. They release their first first full-length studio album under the ‘DROTT’ banner on 24 September. The album is called Orcus and is released through By Norse music.
Inspired by forces of nature, superstition and spirituality the trio have a penchant for creating shades of light and dark with more than a hint of primal weirdness in their music – yoyoing between quite psychedelic rhythms at times, a kind of rootsy folkiness at others (which is clever, without vocals!), a hint of jazz, a touch of eastern magic and not a little amount of poppy tunefulnesss!
As an album, Orcus is then doubly unusual, the lack of vocals adding to an already enhanced sense of shadowy sinuousness within a set of tracks that are actually telling a tale about a character called DROTT on his journey down to the realm of the dead….a sort of dark ambient electronic take on Rick Wakeman’s Journey to The Centre Of The World?
Orcus is the other main performer, a ‘god’ of sorts who inhabits the underworld, the judge, punisher and purifier of all those dispatched to him. As DROTT gets closer and deeper, he grasps at every beam of light possible in “Katabasis”, the middle ground of the journey, before he realises his fate.
The first two tracks The Lure and Caerdroia are relatively light-hearted shortish numbers setting the scene before the swampy Katabasis kicks in, over seven minutes of a single riff painting a bleak and relentless descent into the Underworld, Katabasis being from the ancient Greek, don’tcha know! The Strait follows, taking us into hypnotic cinematic territory, before “The Psychopomp” emerges from the shadows, a frankly scary image of this being the guide of souls in the passage between the living and the dead. By the Lunar Lake sounds like another slightly wacky film soundtrack, you can almost picture some kind of horserider figure riding slowly through a mirage and into focus! The Marauders takes us back into threatening, dark, throbbing riff territory, things don’t look good for our man!
Grey Gull restores some sense of cool calm, tranquillity and inner strength before DROTT’s final descent through The Arch of Gloom (which oddly is quite a chirpy little post-rock number). There awaits Orcus and the final judgement, illustrated here by a prog-metal concluding vibe…..
The group, recently established (2020), released their self-titled EP in March 2021 and received great reviews. It established the Drott’s instrumental Progressive Rock sound as a new direction within the genre and this, their first full-length performance takes DROTT in a new artistic direction. With these ten tracks they certainly dive deeper into sonic, experimental landscapes!