Friday, 10 October 2014

Dødheimsgard "666 International" (1999)

Today I felt like talking about a record I've been revisiting recently. Must of been around 10 years ago I found this unique little album that fuses the styling of Black Metal with a noisy Industrial sound. The result is distant from its obvious influences and from start to end provides a dizzying, abrasive listen that visits many musical contexts, but also delivers some memorable tunes. The album opens with a bang, a descending, clean piano clashes with a blitz blast beat and brimming guitar distortion that pass into a weary, bleak landscape as Aldrahn introduces himself with clean, poetic vocals that build the mood. Quickly the direction changes as the vocals become demonic and guttural, the intensity builds from the guitars and drums, and the tone for this album is set.

From this point onwards Dodheimsgard, translated "Home Of Death", move through many artistic, avant-guard musical passages that are as enjoyable as they are intriguing and bizarre. There are dizzying, nauseous blast beats and rhythmic groves mixed with abstract sounds and instrumentation that even find room for screeching noise abuse at the end of "Final Conquest". Anything goes, it may seem, but despite how abstract the styles and influences explored in this album are, Dodheimsgard hold it together in memorable fashion. And of course this dizzying listen is parted by piano interludes that provide a needed contrast.

The production is not the cleanest, but its flaws are strengths in this noisy record filled with absurdities, there was little that could go wrong. With such a wide range of sounds, drum kits and even guitar distortions its impressive to think there are no moment in this record where anything feels underwhelming or overlooked. As a whole it feels thorough and ready to fit its purpose, which is musical exploration at its extremes.

Favorite Tracks: Shivra-Interface, Ion Storm, Final Conquest, Sonar Bliss
Rating: 7/10