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Dødheimsgard - 666 International CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.15 | 38 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
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.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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