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About Drottnar

Drottnar are a Norwegian extreme metal band founded by three siblings whose sound has evolved from a hybrid of death-doom, folk, and Viking metal roots in the 1990s to bridging the subgenres of technical, progressive, and black metal. Known for their blistering-fast attack, unhinged vocals (courtesy of vocalist/guitarist Karl-Fredrik Lind), and on-stage proto-military costumes that suggest, alternately, Soviet-era Eastern European military uniforms (to mock Nazi and Communist ideologies) and stylistic props from the era, they have always been provocative. Far from the mainstream, their catalog of recordings since 1998's A White Realm EP slowed, and they recorded infrequently until midway through the 21st century's second decade. Starting in 2006, they released several full-lengths including Welterwerk, their "classic," 2012's Stratum, and the three-EP series Monolith. Drottnar were founded as the death metal outfit Vitality in early 1996 by four Lind siblings: vocalist Sven-Erik Lind, guitarist-keyboardist Karl Fredrik Lind, drummer Glenn-David Lind, and bassist Bjarne Peder Lind. Their earliest demo, the Christianity-themed Doom of Antichrist, was privately issued in May. After playing local shows, refining their attack, and shifting toward Viking/folk/black metal, they changed their name to Drottnar (an Icelandic word that translates to master, ruler, or king) for 1998's A White Realm. Given the strength of its recordings and their unique lineup and stage persona, London's Plankton Records signed the band. The label issued the compilation Spiritual Battle that combined A White Realm and earlier Vitality songs. Live, the band began evolving again toward more extreme ends which had grown out of their own flavor of black metal. 2003's Anamorphosis EP found second guitarist Bengt Olsson replacing bass player Bjarne Peder Lind, and adding bassist Håvar Wormdahl, making the band a quintet. It was also the first time listeners were able to hear the progressive elements that would emerge prominently three years later. All of these early recordings featured lyrics with Christian themes that were used both literally and figuratively as metaphors for political and social themes. Drottnar released the 2006 full-length Welterwerk, showcasing their maturing meld of technical, blackened death metal, signified by its simultaneous juxtaposition of harmonic and atonal riffs with their new politically poignant lyrics -- though their Christian beliefs remained a constant. The album was well-received and permitted the band to tour throughout Europe and on the festival circuit. That said, they didn't issue another album until 2012's Stratum, a set that critics regarded for its complete integration of abstract black metal. Again, critics and fans reacted well, prompting another long tour and then a transition as guitarist Bengt Olsson and vocalist Sven-Erik Lind left the band, culling the lineup to a trio with Karl-Frederik Lind assuming vocal duties. This new incarnation's first release was 2017's Monolith I EP. Monolith II and III both appeared in 2018 and won over the press for their diversity and focus as dark progressive, experimental grooves met the crushing heaviness of death and atmospherics of black metal. Lyrical themes began to shift as well, focusing as much on environmental concerns as spiritual, social, and political ones. A box set of the three EPs was issued in late 2018, and the following year, a single-disc reissue was released with the added bonus of two extra intros and the track "Eschaton," with Mortification's Jayson Sherlock guesting on vocals. The set also resulted in a video for the track "Funeral of Funerals." ~ Thom Jurek

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