ALBUM REVIEW: Drott – Troll


On Troll (By Norse Music) Drott draws from Scandinavian folklore to create a soundtrack for the listener to inhabit a dank, murky forest, with the eponymous troll close enough that you can smell it, delivered via dark, slightly campy electronic rock soundscapes that would feel totally in place in a (not too scary) fantasy/ horror movie. 


Bringing together members of Ulver and Enslaved, the Norwegian heritage of Drott seeps out of Troll, alongside frequent spooky carnival themes. With a number of tracks led by ominous guitar lines that could be signalling the arrival of a Batman villain, the impression might settle in that you’re listening to Black Sabbath writing the soundtrack for a Tim Burton movie about a haunted circus (filmed in the Norwegian north). 


With occasional vocals mostly comprising what sound like the chattering of the troll in the background and what sound like incantations of a midnight forest ritual, Troll is more or less an instrumental album. The “voice” in the songs is usually guitar lines that evoke the fantastical creature stalking the forest. Synths, percussion, and occasional orchestral instrumentation flesh out the atmospherics and keep the listener in the middle of the deep dark woods from start to finish — like a Peter & the Wolf for spooky kids that grew up with David Lynch.




Standout tracks include “Våkenatt”, with it’s hint of a Maralyn Manson / industrial metal sheen, that expands into a more melodic dark electro landscape – even bringing to mind eighties fantasy movies like The Neverending Story, before an eastern flavoured guitar lines pops up to give the track a Mr. Bungle / Secret Chiefs 3 edge. The title track meanwhile extends the atmospherics that many tracks lurk in with more orchestral layers and some nifty drum fills alongside another ambling-troll guitar motif. 


The metallic/industrial elements are never too prominent, with the album more often leaning into fantastical eighties synth stylings. In all cases and evolutions though, the atmosphere of the fantastical dark, Scandinavian forest is maintained.  


An album you can enjoy as a weird background to relaxing in your living room, with plenty of quirky little details if you want to turn the volume up and really absorb this strange, mythical world. Troll is a very satisfying trip through dark terrain that seems to understand its own slightly campy nature, never taking itself too seriously, and is all the better for it. 


Buy the album here:

8 / 10