Dratna is a solo black metal band from Northern Ireland and this is his second album.
I enjoyed 2020’s Druid Winds & the Fall of the Celtic Gods, but missed Dratna’s debut album, so Fomóraigh is the perfect opportunity for me to catch back up with the band. The 39 minutes of material on the album reveals a well-rounded and well-developed slice of atmospheric black metal.
Fomóraigh takes in a variety of moods and feelings across its running time, making for an album that takes the listener on a journey into the artist’s world and his vision for his music.
Each track has its own feel. Fomóraigh has teeth, and there’s enough blackened second wave hostility here to satisfy, but that’s not the primary goal of the music, despite how overtly aggressive it can occasionally be. Folk influences and melodies can be felt keenly in some parts of the music, but not in others. There’s an unexpected thrash influence that appears in some of the riffs, adding a spiked edge to the distorted assault. Symphonic elements arise too now and again, providing layers of colour to get lost in.
The album’s darkness and aggression waxes and wanes depending on the needs of the moment, and the songwriting makes good use of the different tools available to the artist. Whatever any individual part of any song is doing, it mostly exists only insofar as it serves the goals of the music, which can be surprisingly uplifting and emotive when it wants to be, or cruel and abrasive at the other end of the spectrum.
The mixture of folk, thrash, symphonic, and second wave influences are combined very competently, leading to atmospheric black metal that’s textured and vibrant. With well-performed acidic high-pitched screams that suit the music perfectly, and a production that’s raw, yet clear and tight, Fomóraigh is an enjoyable and satisfying experience from start to finish. The artist behind Dratna has created an album that’s well-crafted and worth diving deep into.