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A ritual hymn - 80%

Paganbasque, January 21st, 2023
Written based on this version: 2022, Digital, BloodRock Records

Founded only three years ago the Italian solo-project Dramanduhr has released its debut effort entitled ‘Tramohr’. This is a pretty original album as it blends different genres. Before we focus on the music it is also interesting to highlight that the lyrics are written in a self-made language created by the mastermind behind this project. I always admire the level of imagination and desire to work of the people who take its time to create a specific language for an album.

Conceptually, the album has also its interesting point as it has a strong esoteric concept. As it is depicted in the album cover, the music is inspired by a rite that occurs around a volcano. Just in front of it, there is a temple, where adepts gather to invoke a god called Dramanduhr. You just can’t deny that this interesting concept to create a music album.

Musically, this in an intriguing album. It is definitely hard, if not impossible, to link it to a certain genre, although avantgarde or progressive metal could y be reasonable options as, especially the first one where every experimental and original band can be included. This is undoubtedly a metal album with a strong melodic point, but also solemn as it has a very strong ritualistic essence, specifically in the vocals. They are, in my humble opinion, the ones which play the most prominent role, as they have a strong personality and a quite varied approach, although always keeping the aforementioned solemn touch. This is quite obvious from the very beginning of the album with first track ‘Dramanduhr’. The arrangements in form of keys, some folk touches, among other additions, also give to the music a quite evocative touch, as well as a Mediterranean personally, obviously influenced by the place of the creator of this project, who is from Sicily. For example, a song like ‘Táh Loh Rehn Kilt’ has for sure this Mediterranean essence, even close to a certain Middle Eastern feeling. The song is one of the calmest of the whole album, with a very emotionally intense vocal performance, another proof that you don’t need to understand the lyrics to feel the music.

This album’s liturgical touch is obviously influenced by the concept behind the music, and tracks like ‘Ixtratarrastràh’ or the seventh track ‘Tèhr Ick Tarramàh’ are a good proof of it. Their structures are varied and different to each other with a variable pace and riffing work, but the vocals and certain arrangements give this church-like feeling, that make the sound coherent inside the whole album’s structure. If one element is the one which gives the strongest room for variety in this album, are the arrangements, which doesn’t appear just come in form of a folk touches, but also include the addition of 70s keys or atmospheric synths, among others. For example, the use of a viola in tracks like Táh Loh Rehn Kilt’ or the final song ‘Tramohr’, a quite interesting piece because it summarizes most of the elements we have listened to through the album. This composition is an enjoyable compilation of quite emotional and solemn vocals, some folk touches, varied structure and pace, and it even has an epic touch. The guitars and drums are maybe the less experimental part of this album. Nevertheless, they are very well-done and executed, and give the necessary heaviness to the album, reaching a great balance between strength, atmosphere, and experimentation.

In conclusion, Dramanduhr’s debut is a quite interesting album with plenty of different influences but a strong personality. As it would a loss of time to define its subgenre, I just want to say that is a quite interesting metal album with a strong ritual and solemn essence. The quite emotional vocals, which are very well executed, and the diverse range of arrangements, which enrich the album, make ‘Tramohr’ an original and always unexpected piece of music.