Draugûl is a one-man epic Viking black metal band from Malta. They were born in 2012 by their one and only member Hellcommander Vargblod, taking his inspiration by Tolkien’s books and Norse mythology. The name Draugûl is based on the fictional Mordor language (joining the words Draug and Gûl) and means something like “curse of the wolf”. Draugûl signed to Pesttanz Klangschmiede Produktionen in order to release their debut full-length album “The Voyager” on the beginning of March 2013.
The band’s music is deeply influenced by Bathory’s sound and atmosphere, offering epic metal with many black metal references. Their compositions are based on epic guitar riffs and some melodic leads, accompanied by atmospheric synths in the background and few folk instruments here and there, all played by Hellcommander Vargblod. Epic clean male vocals and black metal screams (both of a raw, natural, unedited nature) complete their sound puzzle, while in the seventh track “The Curse of Heoroth” Katia Azzopardi contributes with female vocals. Most of their songs move from slow to mid tempo epic metal, but there are also several faster black metal outbursts, as well as a few acoustic parts. I prefer more their black metal oriented songs and my favorite is the 9th track “Kazikly Voyvoda” a dark atmospheric epic black metal composition. “The Voyager” contains a short intro and 9 songs, most of them quite long, so its total duration is over 56 minutes. There is also a cover of Bathory’s cult masterpiece “One Rode to Asa Bay“. All lyrics are in English, exploring the fantasy world of Tolkien and the legends of Viking mythology.
Overall “The Voyager” is a decent debut album and I see it as Draugûl’s homage to their beloved music. Their compositions have a very epic feeling with a well produced underground sound and the only thing I’d like to see from them in the future is to evolve a somehow more personal style. ”The Voyager” is released via the German label Pesttanz Klangschmiede in a limited to 500 copies jewel case edition CD, with a 4-page black & white booklet.
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