Hailing from Sicily comes a unique metal release under the banner of Dramanduhr titled Tramhor. This is an album done completely in a fabricated language dubbed ‘Dahrmonium’. On first listen it sounds like a strange mixture of Egyptian, Greek, ancient Iberian and Latin combined in a way that works musically but at the end of the day, means nothing. Though, the album is intriguing enough to keep you hooked all the way through.
Musically, its rather middle of the road metal. Taking aspects from death metal, black metal, traditional and so-on, wrapped in an operatic package that serves for some solid jams. Meanwhile, the vocals are sung in a grand and dramatic way, making the strange language sound even more mystical, as if hymns are being sung during some sort of ancient and forgotten esoteric ritual. It can get rather hypnotic, as the mid-paced drums pound away at each song, it really puts one into a trance giving it this almost psychedelic feel with the strange language and fuzzy production and prog-style song writing.
My favorite part are the vocals, given that is the main focus of the album. The operatic style accompanies well with the range of mid-paced metal instrumentation and various other tribal and ambient pieces that emphasize the ritualistic aspects of the album. You really picture a robed priest chanting in some sort of outlandish and foreign language in a smoky temple filled with other dark-robed worshippers as they chant along. Very atmospheric and immersive when you really sink your imagination into this album.
But it can drone on for a while, unfortunately. There aren’t really many high points musically and all of it sounds rather level headed, relying heavily on the unique theme and atmosphere which is charming at first, but needs to bring more to the table sonically to really make an impact, in my opinion. While, I didn’t think this release was bad by any measure, there are some great break downs and enjoyable moments that keep me interested in listening but nothing is too memorable and all kind of blends together in a wide yet shallow musical pool. A fun listen at best.
I do think fans of metal should certainly check this out either way. The unique presentation and esoteric atmosphere combined with the stripped back prog-like heavy metal with some touches of the extreme are worth checking out and at least can be listened to as a great escape into an alternate realm of existence that the ancients have long forgotten about.