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Dødheimsgard - Supervillain Outcast CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.30 | 37 ratings

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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.

frippism | 3/5 |


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