Monday, November 19, 2012
Ragnarok : Malediction
Ok nothing but black metal reviews for the rest of the year so starting them off with Ranarok's newest.
While only familiar with these guys when they have popped up on my last fm, decided to give their new one a shot, while I was under the impression these guys were old school raw black metal there is a lot more thrash and death influences than I might have anticipated and they waste no time incorporating them into the blast fest "Blood ofsaints " even has a few Deicide moments in the vocal patterns, the vocals which are much more discernible than you would think, giving them a more death metal feel, but in the days when the lines of what was death and what was black metal were more blurred so pre second wave. The first impression though is this is going to be pretty straight and relying on sheer speed of attack.
"Demon in my view" keeps up the albums established pace and is run of the mill until the chorus , I like the place ment of the vocals even if I think using the title in the lyrics of the chorus can be a little cheesy and it's up for debate if that's indeed the chorus as there isn't a lot of variance, though at this speed it gets a little sloppy on the ears when it comes to distinguishing parts. They do a similar thing on " Necromantic summoning ritual" though here is when I begin to here some of the phrasing and almost major tones sound like ultra sped up power metal, so these guys have a Hammerfall album or two they are hiding on the tour bus and their Deicide collection is out in plain sight, though it adds to the chorus leading into where the chorus should be as it has a thrashing attack.
They stay very consistent in tempo going into "Divide et Impera" almost to a fault , though the bass is up in the mix and power metal undertones are helping the gallop and the mid tempo accented riff is a dramatic and well timed change before going back to their trusted blasties. The growl begins to get a little monotonous at this point as it keeps at a midrange rasp, there are the more Deicide accent which makes their focus on where they go rather than any variation in pitch.
The opening riff of "Pro patri mori" should have been riffed out a little more before we descended into more of the same though like the previous song it slows down into some syncopated punches with some melody to them before dishing out more of the same thing they have been beating your ass with thought there's a little Morbid angel in this riff that cuts through the blasts about midway through making this on of the albums stronger songs
I like it when they lead with the viking riffs on "Dystocratic" and think they need to include more as they are more untouched with that current than Amon Amarth. The rest of the song begins to feel like these tempos are a cop out Becuase they lack better ideas which from the opening riff I know it's not true maybe just less inspired when it comes to arrangements. By the time we get to "Iron Cross" we get the point that this speed is the only troo kvlt tempo though the little breakdown ey throw in their is a reprieve just too much of the same and as much as I love the dark one the lyric" Satan has come to stay " makes him sound like puff the magic dragon.
" the eleventh seal" is starting to sound like a continuation of the previous song, though it thrashes it's accents harder. This drummer is no doubt a machine among machines and gets credit for making some of these riffs more interesting , where if he had been a monotone blaster this album would have been ruined. Any metal drummer who are into over the top playing need to listen to this album like its a drummer clinic and add tow points to the final score. But superlative drumming aside the song "Fade into Obscurity" is what I'm beginning to think this album will do on my iPod. The riff on that song is mean as a angry bag of fucks and defies my theory this album running out of steam.
"Sword of Damocles" stood out for me from the first listen as the hook in the first part of the verse section sounds like a King Diamond bridge riff, or "So far so good " era Megadeth. Sure they revert to blast now ask questions later , leaving the cool riff all by its lonesome to cry in its corpse paint. The execution is flawless, no one has a bad performance though the vocals are one dimensional and I guess this is what the death metal band Daath would sound like if the went black metal and stopped soloing, the drums carry the connect the dots metal riffage. One of the best drumming performances on a metal album this year helps bump this one up to a 7 as the lack of innovation and melody would bore me after a whole and even though I recognize this is good for what it is I foresee it getting bumped from my hard drive to free up space more something more experimental that actually speaks to me, but as new gets scarce this time of year it might be what you need to hold you for right now.