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DØDHEIMSGARD

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Norway


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Dødheimsgard biography
Though originally a seminal member of Norway's early black metal scene, Dødheimsgard (now known simply as DHG) have followed many of their contemporaries and evolved into something entirely different with the passing of time. Originally consisting of guitarist/vocalist Aldrahn, bassist Fenriz (best known as one half of infamous black metal figureheads Darkthrone) and drummer Vicotnik (also a member of Ved Buens Ende), the group's debut album Kronet Til Konge was released at the height of black metal's heyday in 1995 and is widely considered a classic of that genre. 1996's Monumental Posession saw Fenriz replaced by ex-Emperor bassist Jonas Alver as well as the inclusion of Aura Noir guitarist Apollyon, taking a step in the direction of death metal but remaining largely a straightforward extreme metal release.

A personnel overhaul which saw Vicotnik shift to guitar and Apollyon to drums, Alver replaced by Cerebrus on bass, Galder of Old Man's Child/Dimmu Borgir's inclusion as a secondary guitarist and Mr. Magic Logic (Svein Egil Hatlevik of Fleurety) joining as a keyboardist as well as providing electronic effects led to a radical shift in direction for the group. 1998's Satanic Art EP introduced far more prominent use of piano, a strong industrial undertone through the use of electronic beats, Aldrahn's black metal vocals shifting to a strange spoken/shouted style, the inclusion of a violin (!) on one track, and most importantly a tendancy towards schizophrenic, unpredictable song structures which shifted feverishly from idea to idea. Though Galder and Cerebrus would exit following this release (leaving Apollyon to shift to bass and Vicotnik's Ved Buens Ende bandmate Czral to take over on drums), the ensuing full-length album 666 International was very much in the same style, polarizing black metal fans and placing the band firmly into the territory of extremely avant-garde progressive metal.

Unfortunately, they would essentially vanish after this one release, the band members each pursuing their own seperate projects. In 2003 Vicotnik shortened the group's name to DHG and assembled an entirely new lineup featuring Code vocalist Mat McNerney, Paradigma guitarist Thrawn and bassist Clandestine (among others). A new album titled Supervillain Outcast is due for a September 2006 release.



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DØDHEIMSGARD discography


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DØDHEIMSGARD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.71 | 6 ratings
Kronet Til Konge
1995
2.32 | 6 ratings
Monumental Possession
1996
4.16 | 33 ratings
666 International
1999
4.23 | 31 ratings
Supervillain Outcast
2007
4.18 | 19 ratings
A Umbra Omega
2015

DØDHEIMSGARD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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DØDHEIMSGARD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 6 ratings
Satanic Art
1998

DØDHEIMSGARD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 666 International by DØDHEIMSGARD album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.16 | 33 ratings

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666 International
Dødheimsgard Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars For my 666th review! Sorry Aphrodite's Child :)

This is where things really got weird for DØDHEIMSGARD. After two second wave black metal by the numbers albums they shifted gears and released their transitional EP "Satanic Art" which still found the band firmly in black metal territory but also added the additional elements of industrial metal which signaled an abrupt change in their sound within the ever growing newbies in the second wave black metal cult. The risk paid off and it proved to be a sound that not only set them apart from the pack but packed a punch of industrial black metal fury. On 666 INTERNATIONAL the band continued this newly discovered niche and developed it even further. Other black metal bands had sampled with industrial and electronica such as Ulver who would go this route as well but abandoned the black metal aspects altogether in favor of the sonic possibilities of synthesized sounds. Also on board was fellow Norwegians Arcturus who developed their own style of space metal but it was DØDHEIMSGARD that kept the adrenaline, punk attitude and ferocity of the second wave of black metal in tact.

The album begins innocently enough with a piano tinkling away but after a mere second becomes accompanied by blastbeats and guitar riff fury for a few measures and then totally changes into a Nine Inch Nails industrial rock sound soon to be joined by Aldrahn's clean Skinny Puppy type vocals. The electro rock style plays on for a while and it becomes easy to forget that this is a metal album at all until about seven minutes in when the black metal kicks back in only instead of blastbeats we get some simple industrial drumbeats and background vocal "hoys" that remind me of AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap." Such is the sound of the new DØDHEIMSGARD, a veritable smorgasbord of electro rock, industrial metal and still enough black metal on board to please any of the skeptics. As the album giddily trots in the avant-garde pastures there are many other styles that make their way into the mix. While the main percussive gist falls into the industrial metal realm with black metal blastbeats interpolating themselves sporadically and intermittently, it is the black metal that dominates the guitars and bass but they often drop out all together and are replaced by softer dreamier jangled passages as well seemingly in battle with industrial electronica and

The album is generally very frantic but there are also totally out of place instrumentals that add contrasting styles to the mix. "Carpet Bombing" is simply a jazz piano piece that instils a spooky vibe with slightly dissonant notes slowly lulling the listener into a sudden serene state before "Regno Potiti" jumps back into black industrial franticness once again followed by the similar "Final Conquest." Next up another piano ballad with "Logic." Not jazzy but more classical lasting a mere minute before "Sonar Bliss" ferociously bombards the senses with full jangly dissonant black metal riffs and speed-of-light blastbeat percussion. After dominance is well established it seems to have a break down of style and become some oddly timed progressive industrial workout with jangly arpeggios churning out strange time signatures, angular rhythms and tempo freak outs. There are periodic passages where the keyboard dominates with wild and innovative timbres that add a whole new layer to the avant-garde feel of 666 INTERNATIONAL.

While the theme is purported to be of science fiction, i can't really find any rhyme or reason to the whole thing. This is a true trip down the avant-garde rabbit hole which could possibly be the soundtrack for a Salvador Dalí painting as random sounds callathump rhythmically ahead taking turns bleating out their unexpected matchings of percussion, distortions and vocal styles. I would probably characterize 666 INTERNATIONAL more in the industrial metal field than black at this point. There is a lot of attention paid to an industrial feel even when black metal bursts on to the scene. Aldrahn's vocals remind me most of Nivek Ogre from Skinny Puppy whose tortured painful screams of anguish punctuate the cacophonous din and electronically imbued atmosphere. Overall, this is one weird album but a kind of weird that i love! Personally i prefer the following "Supervillain Outcast" because of the better bringing to order of all of the elements but 666 INTERNATIONAL is still one sick wild ride! I dig the entire scene with the exception of the lame use of silent tracks at the end. Tracks 10 through 65 are pure silence averaging about ten seconds each and then at track 66 we get a rather unnecessary and uninteresting bonus track followed by a psytrance beat with blackened Skinny Puppy type vocals. End the album at track 9 and all is good.

 A Umbra Omega by DØDHEIMSGARD album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.18 | 19 ratings

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A Umbra Omega
Dødheimsgard Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'A Umbra Omega' - Dodheimsgard (86/100)

I think it's difficult nowadays to appreciate just how far Dodheimsgard took black metal at the end of the 1990s. 666 International's bold push to twist the sound with industrial interference and jazz-based intuition did for black metal what Atheist's Unquestionable Presence did for its death metal counterpart several years prior. Of course, by the time we're at now, black metal is practically old enough as a genre to have settled down, possibly had kids, and otherwise aged enough to have seen each one of its potential permutations realized into some shape or form. When it's become relatively 'normal' to hear bands constantly pushing the boundaries, it's woefully easy to forget there was once a time things of an experimental nature were major risks to take in a scene that took pride in its own obscurity.

All things considered, Dodheimsgard's been pretty quiet in the years since they changed the game. Supervillain Outcast dropped eight years later in 2007, and it's now been seven years since that. The sheer rarity of their output makes A Umbra Omega feel that much more like a cherished event; there would be few other circumstances I'd be openly embrace a 70 minute metal album without reservations. The major waiting period makes it so that it would seem inappropriate to call this latest DHG opus a real follow-up to their past material; nonetheless, there were things I'd expect from any new work of theirs. No Dodheimsgard record could be complete without taunting the listener's sanity to some forsaken degree, and a consistent standard of musicianship far beyond the par of their contemporaries would be virtually a granted fact. To call A Umbra Omega DHG's finest album may be tempting exaggeration, but the fact that I want to go out and say that should be testament to the album's jaw-dropping creativity. I'll say this much for it: where on past albums not all of Dodheimsgard's experiments succeeded unanimously, A Umbra Omega is consistently dazzling the entire way through.

Though still unmistakably black metal, never has the line between that and the avant-garde felt so blurred with Dodheimsgard. Following the project's time silent, a renewed grasp of style abounds, and it may be easiest to loosely define what DHG are doing here as progressive extreme metal. Even the vocals-- provided here by Aldrahn from the band's heyday-- are conceivably alien to blackened norms. The screeching guitar parts are as atonal as ever, the drums laced with off-kilter jazz repertoire, and atop all of this Aldrahn delivers one of the most compelling and strange vocal performances I have heard on a metal record. His snarling, dissonant sprechgesang often resembles the maddening cadence of a carnival announcer. The instrumentation never lets up its pace to make way for the vocals, and I don't think a more traditional vocal performance would have held up against DHG's technical chops, for here they are punishing, mind-bending and unrelenting in their calculated depravity.

It's par for the course for an avant-garde metal band to throw every possible style and idea into the pot for an eclectic mess as part of their musical statement. Dodheimsgard aren't beyond these playfully unexpected detours, but what most distinguishes this from their past albums is the fact that they've managed to congeal it into something that sounds tight and coherent. You'll hear a lot of memorable one-shot passages throughout the album's hour-plus, but it never sounds like DHG are straying from the course. As to how the band have managed to get this impression across, I'm not completely sure. If I had to guess, I'd say they grasped a handful of the most insane and off-hand traits in their arsenal (the swirling riffs, jazzy drums and theatrical vocals among them) and had confidence enough in their core sound to carry it throughout the album's length.

That A Umbra Omega has such a strong center makes the said detours all the more engaging when they do happen. While the glitchy industrial intro "The Love Divine" is an obvious write-off in this regard, every following piece (averaging around the 12 minute mark) offers at least a few of these each, and they're almost all individually memorable. Of these, "Aphelion Void" offers up some of the best at the album's start, particularly a slow-building, electronics-based passage about 8 minutes into the piece. Arguably my favourite moment in the entirety of A Umbra Omega encompasses the last two minutes of "God Protocol Axiom", where a tense and otherwise atonal composition erupts into a beautifully heart-wrenching, actually melodic climax. Shortly after, of course, DHG are back to their standard tricks, and despite the album's length, their go-to techniques of controlled chaos and quasi-operatic pomp never lose their stopping power.

For an avant-garde album that hinges primarily on a single sound and madness-inducing tone, A Umbra Omega really does feel consistently engaging and fascinating. The album's length and its predilection for daunting track lengths doesn't make it such an easy listen even for the long-since initiated, but once I start listening to the album, it's tough to put down. I'm sure A Umbra Omega could have said just as much in less time, but considering we haven't heard anything from this legendary band in so long, I could never complain about DHG eating up more of a compact disc's space than most ever attempt. As always, A Umbra Omega isn't for the faint of heart, but then again, Dodheimsgard have only ever catered to an adventurous sort of listener. Even if it could never bear the historical gamechanging significance of 666 International, I'm not afraid to say this band has set a new standard for themselves with this one.

 A Umbra Omega by DØDHEIMSGARD album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.18 | 19 ratings

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A Umbra Omega
Dødheimsgard Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "A Umbra Omega" is the 5th full-length studio album by Norwegian progressive extreme metal act Dødheimsgard. The album was released through Peaceville Records in March 2015. It´s the successor to "Supervillain Outcast" from 2007, so there´s been quite gap in time between the two releases. If you look back in the band´s discography that´s not unusual though as there was an 8 year gap between the release of "666 International (1999)" and "Supervillain Outcast (2007)" too. A recording output of 3 albums in 16 years isn´t exactly prolific, but main man behind the project Vicotnik (real name Yusaf Parvez) has been busy with other projects like Code and Naer Mataron, and "A Umbra Omega" also features an almost completely revamped lineup compared to the lineup who recorded "Supervillain Outcast (2007)". Actually the only remaining member from the lineup of the predecessor is Vicotnik. Lead vocalist Kvohst has been replaced by a returning Aldrahn though (Dødheimsgard singer in the period 1994-2004), so there is at least one more familiar face in the lineup on "A Umbra Omega".

Dødheimsgard has been Vicotnik´s project for the last many years though, so while "A Umbra Omega" doesn´t sound like neither "666 International (1999)" nor "Supervillain Outcast (2007)" (or any of their early releases for that matter), it´s still unmistakably the sound of Dødheimsgard. The twisted and abstract take on extreme metal which draws influences from as diverse musical styles as avant garde, progressive rock/metal, black metal, thrash metal, death metal, and industrial metal (and even a touch of goth) is quite unique.

Where "Supervillain Outcast (2007)" typically comprised of "regular" length tracks with recognisable vers/chorus structures (although still quite adventurous), "A Umbra Omega" is a very different kind of beast. 6 tracks and a full playing time of 67:10 minutes means that all tracks, except the short intro track "The Love Divine", are over 10 minutes long and two of them are even close to 15 minutes in length. All tracks disregard regular vers/chorus structures, and almost no sections are repeated twice during any track. So the tracks are long continuous journeys and quite complex in structure. They are not instantly catchy like some tracks on the predecessor, and require many spins before they settle, and even then they are quite hard to tell apart. In fact the whole album feels more like one long track divided into chapters/suites, than seperate tracks.

Stylistically we´re treated to an avant garde/progressive take on black/extreme metal, with quite expressive and paatos filled vocals in front (sometimes black metal raspy and other times howling and deranged). The whole thing comes off as a dark and twisted theater piece. The avant garde approach to singing occasionally sounds a bit constructed to me, and to my ears Aldrahn was a lot more convincing on "666 International (1999)".

"A Umbra Omega" is well produced, and the musicianship is also on a high level, so it´s a high quality release on most parameters. The long tracks with almost no reoccuring sections is an innovative and progressive move by Dødheimsgard, but it´ll probably divide the band´s listeners. Personally I´m a bit biased as I usually praise innovation and boldness in music, but on the other hand there´s little here which makes me feel like I´ve listened to an album that is on par with their two previous releases, and overall "A Umbra Omega" does feel like a step down for the band. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is still deserved, and if you´re able to appreciate the way the material is constructed that rating should probably be slightly higher.

 Supervillain Outcast by DØDHEIMSGARD album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.23 | 31 ratings

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Supervillain Outcast
Dødheimsgard Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Dødheimsgard advance the experiments in crossing over industrial metal and black metal they began on 666 International on Supervillain Outcast, an album on the other side of the balance. Whereas 666 International felt like industrialised black metal - in the sense that it had a black metal base with industrial influences - Supervillain Outcast feels to me more like blackened industrial metal, in that it has an industrial metal base and black metal influences.

At points, the band bring in a more accessible, even poppier sound, but they manage to make this work brilliantly - the album's more commercial moments sound like Marilyn Manson would sound had his voice not deteriorated and had he retained his grasp of the zeitgeist rather than sidelining himself into increasing irrelevance.

 Supervillain Outcast by DØDHEIMSGARD album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.23 | 31 ratings

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Supervillain Outcast
Dødheimsgard Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by frippism
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars 3.5 I say.

I was very interested to hear Dodheimsgard. Originally, I've heard of their existence through Czral's blog (Czral is the guitarist/vocalist of Virus, and plays drums in Dodheimsgard.). As I read about them, it sounded like the story of many of today's avant-garde black metal bands. Started out as a fairly traditional sounding black metal band, and have dramatically changed their sound as time went by into a more unorthodox matter. With Dodheimsgard (which means "mansion of death" in Norwegian- very kvlt), it was the inclusion of electronics and the somewhat industrial flavor of the music which has divided Dodheimsgard sound from the others.

And indeed, DHG (short for Dodheimsgard) don't really sound like any other band. While the electronic effect isn't the most dominant in the album, it is usually constituted in the background and fills up the empty pockets of sound which are left by the surprisingly crunchy and precise guitar distortion. These guitars are what make this album rather industrial-metal-sounding. It's a little off putting at first. To be honest I wasn't a fan of the guitar's sound in the beginning, but once you sort of understand their grand scheme in the album, and their ability to mesh with the electronics, you learn to appreciate their purpose and enjoy their presence. This isn't your typical black metal. It is undoubtedly an attempt to tackle the genre- which all of the musicians in the band are long time participants of. The traces of black metal are definitely obvious, particularly in Czral's massive blast beats (this is before the tragic fall which has unfortunately left Czral without the ability to use his legs. Yes a bit of a Robert Wyatt story I agree), and moreover, Kvohst's banshee vocals, along with screams and croons, which I'm a big fan of (It is his vocals in Code's "Resplendent Grotesque" which make that album one of my favorite black metal albums).

The sound elements are rather important in making this album interesting, because the songwriting here can be a bit of a mixed bag for me. While most songs here are good, many are great, some can be a bit dull and there's one that in my eyes falls a bit flat. There's a good amount of variety in the album, and so at least it's almost always interesting, but at times the songwriting is a bit too... for lack of a better word, normal. A bit of a verse-chorus- verse affair at times, unfortunately. This works fine when there's a good balance of electronics with the music. The trouble is that there are a few songs where I'd wish there'd be more electronics, more to chew on. More essence. This is felt particularly in a song like "Apocalypticism". It is a rather, straightforward affair. It is on OK song, but even when the elements of electronics come in, they aren't enough to make the song really grab my attention.

One of the stronger elements of the album, though, are the excellent a-capella interludes. These short affairs are beautifully arranged and layered Gregorian sounding ditties. You can hear Kvohst's excellent croon hear and it is delightful and these interludes serve as nice breaks in between the constant metal going around. Not to say that most of the metal isn't enjoyable, because most of it is crushingly intense, and usually there is enough going on to get make you concentrate on the muzak. Songs like "Vendetta Assassin", and "Ghostforce Soul Constrictor" are loud, precise, and powerful examples of what this group can do at their best. They are songs that present the successful merge of intense, extreme metal, with electronic music, and all around this works great.

I can't say I loved it all, but at its best, "Supervillain Outcast" showed a very promising vision of what DHG's future albums might incorporate. While the songwriting needs some work, these guys show enough creativity and integrity to make this album worthwhile, but it's still a bit of a disappointment. I look forward for future releases, in hope DHG will get a better balance of the elements that make them a very interesting project.

 666 International by DØDHEIMSGARD album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.16 | 33 ratings

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666 International
Dødheimsgard Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars At first listen I wasn't too impressed with Dødheimsgard's 666 International. The opening seemed to me to combine not particularly compelling industrial metal with not particularly compelling black metal, with poor vocals over the top of it. But over the course of listening to the album, these disparate elements got drawn together closer and closer, until a proper fusion was achieved by the time the magnificent Sonar Bliss and Completion were reached. On the whole, I respect Dødheimsgard's achievement here and think overall this is a very good album, though I do still kind of feel that the opening track is a little weak and off-putting.
 Supervillain Outcast by DØDHEIMSGARD album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.23 | 31 ratings

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Supervillain Outcast
Dødheimsgard Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Supervillain Outcast' - Dodheimsgard (9/10)

On Dodheimsgard's third record '666 International', this once-orthodox Norwegian black metal band revolutionized their sound by adding a challenging layer of experimental electronics and industrial influence. As rocky a listen as it was, the inventiveness of that record is as alive today as it was when it first came out. Naturally, now that Dodheimsgard had turned black metal on its side, they would be expected to explore this new idea further, and that's exactly what happens with 'Supervillain Outcast'. In effect, Dodheimsgard refines their style into something that feels much more realized and intense than they sounded earlier before. The industrial element of their sound has been extended far beyond a gimmick, now only serves to add to the bleak atmosphere that the music creates. It still has its roots in the straightforwad black metal that Dodheimsgard once played, but 'Supervillain Outcast' stands as being one of the most challenging metal albums I have ever listened to.

It is not often to hear Darkthrone-esque black metal propped up against avant-electronica and something I might only be inclined to call Satanic dance pop. Just as '666 International' was, 'Supervillain Outcast' is a diverse, multi-faceted work, and for any who have heard '666 International' before and could not find anything to love, this one may not be any better. That being said, there have been some stark improvements in the way Dodheimsgard executes their sound. The production is given a much livelier tone, and while variety is ey to what the band does here, the music flows comfortably from one avant-garde nightmare to the next. Kvohst takes his place as the new vocalist for the band, and his performance really adds to the feel of the music, both in regards to his growls, and a clean, eerie croon, not too unlike Vicotnik's performance with Ved Buens Ende. The lyrics here are vividly powerful, often using sick, often disturbing metaphors to convey the imagery. Suffice to say, it very much reflects the distorted, deranged sound of the music.

Musically, Dodheimsgard's sound is incredibly chaotic, and certainly jarring to hear upon the first listen. Although there are some more traditional vocal melodies and harmonies to help balance out the more aggressive aspects of 'Supervillain Outcast', listeners can expect to hear a flurry of all things strange, eerie and wonderful, with sounds being drawn from circus music, dark ambient, and even porn samples, to name a few. On that note, the strength of this album lies greatly in the experimental nature and avant-garde approach that the band takes, and as a result, the more traditional black metal elements of the band often don't feel quite as powerful on their own as they would have outside of this context. 'Supervillain Outcast' may grind against a listener's taste at first, but there is a vulgar genius at work that surprises and bewilders me. '666 International' showed the vast potential of this band, but they take the sound and make it real with 'Supervillain Outcast'.

 666 International by DØDHEIMSGARD album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.16 | 33 ratings

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666 International
Dødheimsgard Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars '666 International' - Dodheimsgard (7/10)

With their third album, the Norwegian black metal outfit Dodheimsgard vastly changed up their sound. Dabbling with experimentation on the 'Satanic Art' EP, the stage was set for the band to achieve a very distinct sound; one that would merge industrial music and orthodox black metal in a style that had never been heard before. In this case, '666 International' is certainly a historically relevant album in the development of black metal, but as a musical listening experience, it can be a bit of a bumpy ride. Now over a decade old, Dodheimsgard's work here still sounds as bizarre as it ever has, but as befalls most pioneers, their experimentation isn't a complete success all the way through. No matter though, because for what its worth, what does work for the band is absolutely incredible.

'Ion Storm' is a fine example of what '666 International' is about; entering with a shout, an industrial beat, and about as generic of a black metal riff as they come. Hearing black metal paired with other, seemingly alien sounds is a bit jarring at first, but by the end of the first track, there is a feeling that it is certainly more than a gimmick, although multiple listens are required for it to really sink in. This grand experiment between the harsh percussion of industrial music and black metal is broken up by a couple of jazzy piano pieces, which ironically turn out to be the best composed pieces of work on the whole album. While I am no stranger or detractor to metal or experimental metal, Dodheimsgard's piano pieces are so well done and beautifully arranged, that they are more enjoyable to listen to than the somewhat mixed impression that the avant-garde aspect gives. 'Carpet Bombing' is about as beautiful as jazz piano gets, and I would love to hear an entire album that sounds just like that.

Dodheimsgard's heavy aspects isn't as simple as merely pairing industrial and black metal; there are nuances here that really help the somewhat lacking flow. The band works some magic by throwing in Opeth-esque mellow breakdowns and sometimes even danceable electronica right next to crushing black metal riffs. The contrast is- once again- rather disconcerting for a first timer, but it is indeed excellent. The avant-garde parts sometimes use some electronic aspects that feel a little out of place (even taking to heart the experimental nature) but the only real weakness here are the vocals, which are often layered with strange phaser effects and mixed far too highly in the record. This can lead to the flimsy sprechzegang performance becoming irritating, especially due to the fact that it is almost working against the really interesting instrumental aspect of the album.

'666 International' must still be lauded for its great ambition, although it cannot be said that all of the aspects that Dodheimsgard works with here work entirely well. All the same, a very refreshing album, especially when put into its context.

 Supervillain Outcast by DØDHEIMSGARD album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.23 | 31 ratings

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Supervillain Outcast
Dødheimsgard Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Zarec

4 stars Right now I'm tired, my stomach is filled with fish and I've just taken my drugs (medicine, no illegal bull[&*!#]). I believe this was the state in which Dodheimsgard composed Supervillain Outcast. The 8 years that had passed since 1999 till 2007 weren't spent in vain. The band, which as I acknowledge had just formed a new line-up, was fresh and fill with new ideas. The result was beyond anything anyone would have expected of them. 666 International had already marked the new tendency in Dodheimsgard's music but it was Supervillain outcast that carved in stone the new approach. Rooted in the classical black metal, Dodheimsgard cut out many of the raw non-sense and add many electronia (idm, electro-industrial) elements to a harsh but clear melody provided by the guitars, bass and drums. But do not think that what they play is conventional. They are by far experimental with many aggressive songs that are infected with sick industrial samples and factory noise while the vocals oscillate from brutal to clean. The clean vocals keep away from general standards and create innovative melodies that unfortunately do not always give a good impression. However, for the sake of avant-garde, they ruin music at some points like in the song All Is Not Self. Additionally, the lead guitar needs to be credited for making some noisy yet melodic music. Sometimes the second guitar stops playing putting emphasis on the main one.

The best tracks on this record are Vendetta Assassin, The Snuff Dreams Are Made of (really, this one blacks out my mind), Apocalypticism (truly scratches your brains) and 21st Century Devil (a dynamic way of ending a very good album).

To sum up, Dodheimsgard is now not your friendly everyday (pseudo)satanist black metal act like most other extreme metal groups from Norway. They are mature, creative and even complex although NOT in a sense related to PROGRESSIVE ROCK. Nonetheless, this boosts up my expectations for the upcoming release that hopefully will not take eight years to appear.

 Supervillain Outcast by DØDHEIMSGARD album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.23 | 31 ratings

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Supervillain Outcast
Dødheimsgard Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by AdamHearst

4 stars Dødheimsgard (which roughly translates into something like 'Mansion of Death') is one of the most underrated Black Metal bands in history. Their work is very avant-garde and experimental... and extremely progressive within the (often quite narrow-minded and conservative) Black Metal genre.

The sound of this album is a mixture of Electronic Industrial and Black Metal, but it's much more organic sounding than their previous album, which i consider a bad thing in this case. I loved the extremely anti-human and mechanical feeling of '666 International'. 'Supervillain Outcast' has a more natural sound, especially with the mostly acoustic drums. The drummer is very good and turns in an amazing performance on every track... but i'd much prefer they return to their unrelenting, cyberblasting, electronic drum sounds.

They haven't totally lost their raging, robotic, post-apocalyptic edge... this album is filled with harsh alien noises and bizarre samples. Nightmarish sounds abound: distorted voices of wounded animals howl in 'Horrorizon' over furious blastbeats... while the hopeless wailing of lost souls can be heard buried in the murk of 'Foe X Foe'.

My favorite track is the most un-Metal on the entire album... 'All Is Not Self' is a lethargic depressive Darkwave anthem. Moaning suicidal vocals languidly drift over abyssic layers of downcast clean guitars and electronic percussion. It's very gloomy and trance-inducing; it produces a totally surreal form of melancholy.

Another depressive favorite: '21st Century Devil' features an excellent Moog-like synth lead in 5/4 timing over dark flowing rivers of distorted guitar and hoarse demonic vocals... and finally an Industrial-style beat in the middle as well.

This is very good material for the most part, but I like '666 International' better. The new vocalist is not quite as engaging as the previous one, and the music sounds overall more streamlined and common... less insane. This is only when compared to their previous work, though, because this album is still lightyears beyond the typical run-of-the-mill Black Metal band.

There is enough unique and interesting music here to merit a hearty recommendation to all open-minded Extreme Prog Metal fans.

Thanks to Bryan for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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