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Kronet Til Konge

Dødheimsgard - Kronet Til Konge ©1995 Century Black
1. Å Slakte Gud
2. En Krig Å Seire
3. Jesu Blod
4. Midnattsskogens Sorte Kjerne
5. Kuldeblest Over Evig Isøde
6. Kronet Til Konge
7. Mournful, Yet And Forever
8. Når Vi Har Dolket Guds Hjerte
9. Starcave, Depths And Chained
10. When Heavens End

Dødheimsgard began their black metal recording career essentially as a "supergroup" as the initial lineup for the band included members of Darkthrone, Aura Noir and Old Man's Child. Their first release, Kronet Til Konge is a very raw, somewhat messy affair that offers not a whole lot more than a take on Hellhammer styled metal with a Norwegian black approach. With the guitars given the same amount of bite as any member of your local nursing home and a production that has far too much echo, Kronet Til Konge is initially difficult to listen to. Once one has adapted to the raw production, the album has the tendency to run together songwise into a long, drawn out blur of noise and black metal tailings. Possibly the most notable aspect of the album is Fenriz (Darkthrone/Isengard) bass skills. His bass lines actually are audible and provide a bit of an undercurrent to the blasting drums and tinny guitars. Meanwhile, the vocals are somewhat similar to Tom G. Warrior, albeit yelled more than grunted.

As far as raw black metal goes, Kronet Til Konge is not particularly a bad album. However, it does very little to stand out from the rest of the genre and contains little truly noteworthy material. It may be of interest to those who simply cannot get enough of raw black metal, but beyond that, it's not particularly recommended.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2001

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Monumental Possession

Dødheimsgard - Monumental Possession ©1996 Century Black
1. Intro
2. Utopia Running Scarlet
3. The Crystal Specter
4. Bluebell Heart
5. Monumental Possession
6. Fluency
7. Angel Death
8. Lost In Faces
9. The Ultimate Reflection

The second release from Norway's composite group of Dødheimsgard finds the four piece outfit, whose members also moonlight in such illuminaries as Emperor, Aura Noir and Ved Buens Ende, offering a blistering assault of droning black metal mixed with 80s thrash tendencies. Monumental Possession is by no means a pleasant or colorful record; rather, the band settles down to business right away with very little in the ways of frilly sonic decoration or pretty interludes. The album on a whole can be a bit monotonous as there isn't a lot of variation in the intensity, but that's precisely their intention. The vocals are a variety of screamed and rasped throat tortures, while the guitars mix a Norwegian black metal style with older riffing that reminds me occasionally of Destruction's approach. Tempos do vary between the songs but the rumbling and droning does somewhat bleed together. Monumental Possession is the type of record that will weed out those who prefer the more symphonic, keyboard oriented style of black metal as opposed to this more vicious onslaught of musical terror. The album is not something that stands as one of the most important records of black metal, but does serve as a good collection filler for those who do have the taste for a more brutal and punishing variety of the genre.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2001

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Satanic Art

Dødheimsgard - Satanic Art ©1998 Moonfog
1. Oneiroscope
2. Traces Of Reality
3. Symptom
4. The Paramount Empire
5. Wrapped In Plastic

It seems the Norwegian black metal scene has split into three subdivisions. There's the ever-popular symphonic types, with their huge synths and pompous music. Then we have the grim and evil Darkthrone-worshippers. Finally we have the freaks, very much so headed by the likes of Dødheimsgard and Arcturus. The change came fairly unexpectedly, but I suppose one should expect something special from a black metal album which has a series of pole-vault pictures on the cover.

This MCD consists of a piano-intro and outro, plus three "normal" songs. The intro serves as a nice calm-before-the-storm moment, leading into the killer opening riff of the albums seven minute centerpiece: "Traces of Reality." This song is worth the price of the disc alone, and gently (or violently) eases the listener into Dødheimsgard's new sound. The song starts out with some very good riffs, an odd sample and some distorted vocals. Shortly into it a violin starts swirling around the guitars. From there thing starts twisting and turning all over the place, through wild tremolo-riffs, solo-piano, almost industrial moments with wild voices speeding up and down. And it works beautifully for the whole ride.

"Symptom" follows and is more of the same, if perhaps a bit more straight-forward. Unfortunately the fourth song, "The Paramount Empire," feels a bit out of place, as it's almost a regressive old-school Black Metal song, with some of the sickest vocals of the genre. A quite good song in its own right, sounding like a bit of Darkthrone and Satyricon mixed in with a touch of Dødheimsgard's peculiar ideas.

The whole album has a very fitting production. Razorsharp guitars saw their way into your head, while the constant drums pummel away at your eardrums. During some of the hyperspeed moments the instruments tend to get a bit washed together, but for the most part everything stands out properly so you can tell what each member of the band is doing. This MCD serves as a perfect appetizer for 666 International, as it's very much so a midpoint between the techno-like Black Metal of that album, and the rawer, thrashier style of their earlier releases. My only complaint is that it only lasts sixteen minutes, but hey, that's why we have repeat-buttons.

Review by Øystein H-O

Review date: 02/2001

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666 International

Dødheimsgard - 666 International ©1999 Moonfog
1. Shiva Interfere
2. Ion Storm
3. Carpet Bombing
4. Regno Potiri
5. Final Conquest
6. Logic
7. Sonar Bliss
8. Magic
9. Completion

Things are getting a bit perplexing in Norway. One look at the colorful facepaint on the band on the back sleeve of the CD and you'll see what I mean. Think Insane Clown Posse gone bad. But I have to give credit to Dødheimsgard for being among the truly "elite" in the Norwegian black metal scene for daring to progress into stranger and more challenging musical territory. As with Ulver, the band has forsaken black metal in its traditional form to incorporate many unexpected twists and turns into their music. And frankly, Dødheimsgard's past music didn't really ever captivate me, at least not based on an in-store listen to Monumental Possession.

666 International is something that might stem from a bad Skinny Puppy nightmare, assuming it was based in the Norwegian frost. The album is monumentally harsh, aggressive and chilling in many respects. What mostly separates it from the black metal paradigm is that the band is using more industrial based drum rhythms. And guess what? It works. Dødheimsgard proves that you don't have to walk the tried and true path to effectively pummel a listener. 666 International is the focused album that Skinny Puppy never could quite create and is the equivalent of being beaten over the head with a Casio synthesizer while a gruff voiced man laughs at your misery. There are interludes of peaceful piano to lull you back into complacency but songs like "Final Conquest" are dense matter sucking you into a gravitational vortex of sound.

If any of the words "electronic", "industrial", "synthesizer" or "progression" frighten you, then by all means grasp your old Darkthrone records close to your little chest and do not bother with this album. But for anyone who welcomes a jarring and inventive new honest progression within the Norwegian scene, 666 International is a violent and rewarding album.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/1999

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