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'Deep Drone Master'
(Svart Records)

jools green

Jools Green

the deathtrip

'Deep Drone Master', the debut full length from The Deathtrip, has been six years in the making and borne from several reworked demos that came originally to fruition last year as a demo compilation, 'A Foot In Each Hell'.

At the core of this project are the duo, Host (a.k.a. Paul Groundwell, GM of Peaceville records/guitarist with Thine) covering guitars and Aldrahan (Dœdheimsgard and ex: Zyklon B, Thorns) covering vocals/lyrics with the line-up for the final recording completed by Dan "Storm" Mullins (Thine, The Enchanted) on drums and Jon Wesseltoft (Thorns) on bass.

Soundwise it's early 90s-era, Norwegian style, minimalist, primitive black Metal still with that essential repetitive, hypnotic element but with a subtle, more complex technical aspect to the guitar work and composition at times, whilst maintaining that all important rawness to the sound that comes from hypnotic riffing laid over basic drum work.

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Whilst the instrumentation and composition is solid and competently executed the real impact comes from Aldrahn's vocals and lyrics which are superb in both clarity and delivery, often magnificently harrowing and are delivered with a power and passion that is brutal, occasionally tortuous and rich with malice, taking you on "a nightmare journey through bleak landscapes via abysmally grim internal reflection, exploring the twisted darkness of death."

Track wise 'Deep Drone Master', which was mixed by Snorre Ruch (Thorns) undoubtedly adding to the continuity of the release, consists of ten tracks, spanning forty-two minutes, six of which were on the compilation demo 'A Foot In Each Hell' but they have been re-recorded for this release and the remaining five are completely new tracks.

I think each track makes a great listen but there are a few that caught my interest more than others, firstly a newer track, 'Something Growing In The Trees', which is just stunning and completely blew me away. The lyrics are sinister and haunting, the vocals hugely broad ranging and set beside the slower rhythms which are dark and foreboding.

The other is one of the older tracks, 'Dynamic Underworld', also with a slower delivery, something which seems to bring the best out of Aldrahn's voice allowing a greater degree of intonation on the delivery as well as enabling a wider range to the vocals.

Also meriting a mention are 'Making Me', where in the latter part the combination of the reflective repeat riff and the raging deranged vocals makes such a powerful listen while the faster tempo 'Cocoons' is a powerful and intense track where vocals are edgier and vitriolic, 'A Foot In Each Hell' for the tortuously expressive vocal delivery and range and the final track, 'Syndebukken', the only one with Norwegian lyrics giving an air of dark mystery with a fading end that is a mix of birdsong and didgeridoo. Surreal!!

This is one of the most interesting and well delivered traditional black Metal albums I have had the joy to hear in quite a while; well worth the time taken to create it.

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