I had not heard about this act, Drabataturk, but apparently it is a new project from the Russian Federation. This review deals with their first album, untitled, which gets released via the fine German (Black) Metal label Pesttanz Klangschmiede. Besides the digital version (via the label’s Bandcamp-page), there are 300 hand-numbered digi-sleeve copies, released with a very remarkable twelve-page booklet.
That booklet does not contain any information (studio recording sessions, mastering, artist(s) involved, and so on), so the mystery grows bigger. But the most mysterious, and intriguing, thing is the artwork and the lyrical side. The twelve track titles are in English, but the texts are in an unknown, self-invented language, some kind of Orcish tongue. As from the album’s rise, it’s like Brock tundra.. Bragdatundara brakda ba-dur!! Tshii-garr tsi-garr sindu brag daba-durr. Yeah!
And that goes extremely well with the visual artwork. It’s a comic strip, about a pugnacious goblin race that finds some magic iron gantlet, which gives their demonic captain a mighty force. The goblins will go to battle in order to conquer the lands of Mork-K, from the Northern Swamps and the K-Uzul fortress over the dark forests of Uk-Kuzluk to the western caves of Kuz-Dul. Yeah! Shakarran!
Seriously, this concept makes me hungry, but does the aural concept equal the interesting approach? Well, at the one hand you do not have to take it too seriously. The album starts, for example, with a very short intro (nearly twenty seconds of length) which is called Jingle. That for sure is a funny thing. And it is like a darkened, bombastic excerpt – not a jolly sample or so – which increases the mystery.
But the continuation is impressive. Drabataturk bring some kind of orchestral Dark / Black Metal (the main vocals, for instance, are rather blackened-screaming than deadly-grunting) with elements from Death and Thrash Metal. It finds its inspiration in an international context, not limited to one or another scene. That’s a next great thing. Also the huge variation is commendable. The tempo, for example, differs a lot. The better part balances in between up-tempo and pretty fast, with some harsh blasting eruptions at the one hand, and a couple of doomier decelerations too.
From structural point of view, this variety is even more remarkable. There are, for instance, some intermezzi, once in a while, with synths and bells. Keyboards do appear, by the way, more than once. Or what about a piece like The Spell, which is an electronic Dubstep influenced piece of Experimental Industrial Abstract Music. Arr-Sharr! Arg Shuck! I could not have said it better… And what to think about the few excerpts with Horror-Goth synths, electronic injections, or additional samples (cf. the introduction for the magisterial epos Through The Forest Of Uk-Kuzluk (aka Throw Uk-Kuzluk Forest) (which is probably my favorite piece, and it does represent, or defines, or summarizes the whole album’s approach)?
Stylistically, as mentioned before, it is a difficult one to put a stamp on this album. It mingles elements from Black, Thrash, Death, Gothic, Folk, Prog and Dark Metal, with a modest dose of experimentation and very subtle elements from (semi) acoustic (Goblin’s War: Prologue is, for example, totally acoustic, with a Folk / Pagan styled execution), symphonic, industrialized and electronic angles. But I do not think that one must categorize this kind of material. Despite a certain sarcastic attitude, the result is truly impressive, and it does never ever bore. I appreciate the fact that it does not sound ridiculous or exaggerated, despite the ironic, cynical approach and concept. The production too is overwhelming and rough, though decently mixed for sure
I am a reviewer, not a dread hero, nor a mighty knight or a fearless warrior, yet somehow I want to visit the putrefied and dingy lands of Mork-K and dance around the fire, looking at dreadful rituals, tasting man’s flesh, and boozing warm ale, just once. The mighty goblin’s conductor and his tribe might invite me (and yes, I know it will probably be a one-way ticket, because there won’t be a return…). Anyone brave enough to join me?...
Hail to the goblin’s demon from the Black Valley! Hail Shakarran!!!