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Dødheimsgard - Monumental Possession CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.98 | 9 ratings

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3 stars Dodheimsgard's second recording, Monumental Possession, finds the collection of Norwegian black metallers turbo-charging their standard yet effective brand of traditional black metal with a lethal dose of vintage thrash. As with the debut, Kronet Til Konge, there is no effort to stretch the boundaries of this form of metal music. This is a burning display of ferocious misanthropy. There is no concern for providing the listener with a dynamic listening experience. This is a purging of spiritual and mental anguish from beginning to end.

The music is delivered with an increased intensity as compared to the debut, yet, like said debut, it is once again the vocal performances that provide the highest level of impression. Aldrahn is again convincing in his anguished desperation, yet the vocals are now split between three members, with Vicotnik's tortured gremlin croak carrying the most disturbing, alarming and penetrating effect. The grim wretchedness of his tone is beyond that of most, if not any, black metal vocalist. Musically, there is nothing on offer that can be described as phenomenal, not for any lacking of ability from the musicians involved, but rather because the material does not particularly demand such instrumental flexing. Guitars are a blend of traditional black metal and thrash riffs, while the rhythm section simply lays a (usually furious) foundation for the attack. Though the material is both sonically and emotionally rewarding, it does not reach the magnitude of black metal's greatest works. This is because, though the music is satisfying during the listening session, its effects fail to resonate once the session has concluded. Unlike classic black metal artists, the work of Dodheimsgard, for the first two releases at least, does not maintain its grip on the soul of the listener after the album has ended. This is what separates Dodheimsgard from an Immortal or an Emperor, and what keeps them from taking a place alongside the genre's more exceptional acts.

It must be stressed that Dodheimsgard are not aspiring to alter the soundscape of black metal tradition. The individuals who comprise the unit (Aldrahn [Thorns], Apollyon [Aura Noir, Cadaver, Inc.], Vicotnik [Ved Buens Ende.] and Alver [Emperor]), are veterans of the Norwegian black metal scene and have each been involved in projects which have sought to expand or manipulate black metal's standards in some fashion. The purpose for the existence of Dodheimsgard (at this moment of their career at least) is to revel in the blasphemous and hateful indulgences of black metal, and do so by way of a fairly standard approach in terms of musical construction. However, this is not Kronet Til Konge part 2. The extremity has been intensified and the variety of vocal approaches, the interjection of thrash riffs and rhythms and the thicker production contribute to taking the original vision to the next level. The environment has moved from the obscurity of blackened, cold Norwegian forests to the torture grounds of hellish torment. Therefore, Dodheimsgard's music now burns rather than freezes, and it's left up to the listener as to which of the two forms of suffering is most appealing.

bleak | 3/5 |


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