In past years we’ve written extensively about the music of the Belfast-based solo black metal project Dratna, following their course across four EPs and a 2022 debut album (Fear Gorta & Tales of the Undead) since the first release in 2018. It has been a remarkable excursion, and one that has fueled increasingly high expectations for each new release.
We didn’t expect another Dratna album so soon, but that is what we have — a new full-length named Fomóraigh that will be released on May 26th by the distinctive NY label Fiadh Productions. Maybe expectations were a bit tempered given the relative speed of this follow-up, but that trepidation only made the new record even more astonishing to hear.
In its inspirations and themes the new album draws on Irish mythology and the landscape of The Mourne Mountians. In its music, to use the rudest form of summing up, it interweaves atmospheric and raw black metal with folk music performed on a wide array of instruments, rich symphonic overlays, and hints of doom. It unfolds like a head-spinning, eye-popping musical pageant, one that seems to have one foot in an age lost to the millennia and another in the hear-and-now.