Review DØDHEIMSGARD ‘Black Medium Current’

Dødheimsgard is one of the bands from Norway that made it to international reputation starting in 1994. Like other bands from the Norwegian metal scene, the musical rebellion started in black metal. So did Dødheimsgard, who introduced their devilish debut album ‘Kronet til konge’ in 1995.

Even if the basic black manifestos are still present, Dødheimsgard also showed a musical development which began to unfold for the first time on ‘A Umbra Omega’. The band broadened its scope and began to integrate avant-garde elements into its sound. At the same time the music became more atmospheric and thus more complex. This happened almost eight years ago and now the Norwegians return with their new album.

Nine songs have made it onto ‘Black Medium Current’ and Dødheimsgard continue their journey through the blackened world of music. To get to know the full range of music, songs like ‘Interstellar Nexus’ are extremely helpful. Following a heavier beginning, the song shows what Dødheimsgard are capable of through several unexpected twists and turns. These do not always make it easy for the listener to find immediate access to the songs. Nevertheless, the songs exert an intuitive fascination and one likes to spend several times with the pieces. There is always something new to discover.

The atmospheric sounds also come to play on ‘It Does Not Follow’. Gloomy and multifaceted, the song spreads across the soul of the listener and pulls him into a vicious abyss before the rather lightweight starting motif trumps the drama.

Creativity also drives the two ten-minute epics on ‘Black Medium Current’. With ‘Et smelter’ the Norwegians already start off sprawling and excessive. Also ‘Abyss Perihelion Transit’ is not stingy with musical variety. The beginning is kept quiet and gloomy before after two minutes the vehemence increases. The song lives by the interaction of the contrasts. On the one hand there are the almost cinematic moments, which gain intensity through hellish outbursts. Even if the song never tends to extreme harshness, it is a poignant malice, which appears again and again.

That Dødheimsgard are also not afraid of piano (‘Requiem Aeternum’) and flute (‘Et Smelter’) quickly becomes apparent. The four guys are broadly positioned and have created with ‘Black Medium Current’ a very multilayered and varied album, that covers an immense range, from the furious and partly weird ‘Tankespinnerens Smerte’ to the mournful ‘Requiem Aeternum’. Even if these extremes are partly further apart, the band manages to create a sound framework that holds everything together and makes the record appear as a cohesive whole. Here music is not only played but celebrated.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Et Smelter
  2. Tankespinnerens Smerte
  3. Interstellar Nexus
  4. It Does Not Follow
  5. Voyager
  6. Halow
  7. Det Tomme Kalde Morke  
  8. Abyss Perihelion Transit
  9. Requiem Aeternum

Label: Peaceville

Genre: Avant-Garde Black Metal

Release Date EU: April 14th, 2023

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