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Dødheimsgard - 666 International CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.15 | 38 ratings

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5 stars 666 International is the third studio album from norwegian experimental extreme metal band Dødheimsgard. Their first two albums were pretty raw and simple black metal with eighties thrash tendencies but it was with their Satanic Art EP from 1998 that the experimentation began ( I can recommend that one). On 666 International the transformation from primitive black metal to intelligent experimental extreme metal is finished. This will probably be their crowning achivement as the standard they set with this album will be very hard to beat. I have listened a lot to their latest album Supervillain Outcast which is a masterpiece just like 666 International, but I think 666 International is just a notch better.

The music is very experimental. There are elements from black metal, industrial noises, eighties thrash metal ( the most evident influence is Voivod) and psychadelia. A really exciting mix. The songs generally have lots of sections and moods which means that this music is very challenging. It´s also very inaccessible and demands your full attention for the first many listens. It´s taken me 8 years to learn to appreciate, so be patient if you dislike it on the initial listen, you might like it after 50 listens. All I can say is that my patience was fully rewarded and 666 International is one of my favorite albums today.

Shiva Interfere starts the album with some horror movie piano that soon gives way to some intense blasting. This intro is over in about 20 seconds and then starts the real song. Aldrahn sings with his tortured vocals over some spacy acoustic guitar and electronic/ industrial sounds. The song changes multible times through the 9+ minutes of playing time.

Ion Storm is a really extreme song in every way possible. The drumming is extremely fast. Hyper blast beats played at the speed of light. It´s so intense I almost lose my breath. The song has a symphonic feel to it even though it´s so extreme. Again Aldrahn delivers some really diverse tortured vocals.

Carpet Bombing is a short horror movie piano piece which comes just at the right time to soothe my ears after the almost unbearably fast and brutal Ion Storm ( In my world this is a positive thing).

Regno Potiri is the longest song on 666 International with it´s 10:19 minutes. The song is very diverse and you have everything from industrial sounding parts to primitive punk like black metal parts to piano parts. Everything controlled by Aldrahn´s sublime vocal delivery.

Final Conquest is a very heavy song with some very distinct percussion drums. There are some very symphonic keyboards in some of the sections while there are also lots of shrieking industrial noises towards the end of the song. A classical inspired piano section is also present in the middle of the song. Allthough this is not my favorite here, it´s still a masterpiece of experimental extreme metal.

Logic is like Carpet Bombing a short classical horror movie piano piece that is a breather in between the mayhem that is Dødheimsgard´s music.

Sonar Bliss starts rather fast paced with blast beats but the song has many moods and sections including a pretty psychadelic guitar piece. There are some pretty exciting programmed sounds in Sonar Bliss that I enjoy very much. Sonar Bliss is a perfect examble of how diverse and powerful Dødheimsgard´s music is. But at the same time it´s also a reminder of how difficult, challenging and inaccessible their music can seem to outsiders.

Magic is another B-horror movie theme played by the piano and it is equally as pleasant or creepy ( whatever suits you) as Carpet Bombing and Logic.

Completion is the last real song on 666 International. It´s a very electronic song. It starts with extremely noisy blastbeating but soon seques into more industrial noisy parts. This might be the most experimental song on the album and the most noisy one too. It shows once again that Dødheimsgard is willing to experiment with genres and sounds.

666 International actually consists of 66 tracks and while the first nine is credited on the sleeve there are 56, 1 to 2 second silent tracks. Track number 66 is an 11 minute track which is actually pretty good. There is only music for the first minute and a half though. I must say that this part of the album is the only flaw on 666 International. I hate these endings where you have to wait for the last song. I guess I should take the last song as a kind of bonus.

The musicianship is outstanding and pretty unusual. Aldrahn, Vicotnik, Apollyon and Czral has this time around enlisted Mr. Magic Logic (Svein Egil Hatlevik) on keyboards and piano. It´s a great addition to Dødheimsgard and Mr. Magic Logic gives the music much of it´s eerie mood. The man has lots of unpleasant carts up his sleeve. He did appear for the first time on the Satanic Art EP from 1998 where his presence was also heavily felt.

The production is masterfully done. It has the thin black metal guitar sound but the layers of drums, industrial keyboard noises and tortured vocals in the music is extremely well emphasised in the mix and brings out the most dark and unpleasant atmosphere you´ll ever hear on any album.

666 International can best be described as the soundtrack to Hell or at least a journey into the twisted mind of obscurity, depression, despair and extreme anger. I understand that it is not all people who would want to expose themselves to this kind of torture ( but what beautiful torture it is) like it´s not everyone who turns on to sadomasocistic sex or other extreme things in life. But the ones who do like some extreme niche in life will know what I ´m talking about. Sometimes it´s just the most ugly beast that turns out beautiful. 666 International is one of the most revolutionizing experimental metal albums in the last 10 years and I love every twisted minute of it. This is a sure 5 star album. Highly recommended to people into experimental extreme metal ( not tech metal). This is THE essential album in that genre.

UMUR | 5/5 |


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