Saturday, March 7, 2015
Dodheimsgard: " A Umbra Omega"
The intro makes you think they have abandoned black metal altogether , but those are short lived when they blast into"Aphelion Void", which is like a more angular version of A Forest of Stars. The vocals even have that crazed narrative quality to them. These guys are more spacious and dissonant in their approach. They make the most of this fifteen minutes weaving through dark and chaotic passages of the aural labyrinth. There is a low bass filled synth sound at the 7:45 minute mark of the song that is pretty dope. If you like post-rock but haven't given black metal much of a chance this might be the album for you. The song even breaks into an acoustic jazz section, with mouth watering guitar playing. They are not playing around from the blazing onset of "God Protocol Axiom", at least until they allow the metal to give way to this disjointed groove. If Primus' guitarist covered the ground Les Claypool does is the only way I can describe the section that follows. The vocals remain theatrical, but going through a wider array of embellishments closer to King Diamond. This song at thirteen minutes is another long winding journey, and normally I am not the biggest fan of long songs, as it has become too over done , having these guys justify every minute.
On "the Unlocking" the band begins to use more jarring tech elements, before plunging you into some very Current 93 like atmospherics.It's spacey and free-form, while retaining an ugly darkness to it. There is a creepy Psychic Tv inflection in the singer's voice. The growls are sparse and pretty much just occasional accents, that may be a deal breaker for some. I can take these vocals better than I could the A Forest of Stars vocals , and I didn't hate those they just seemed excessive at times. There is more going on vocally here. The blast beats occur more frequently than the growls. While the band has been around since 1995, this is only their fifth album, which when writing shit this crazy is easy to understand the delay. This is the bassist's only gig , but other members you might know from Thorns and Manes. Past members have including Galdar and Fenriz, so they can thrown in all the weird jazz rock they want and still be legit.There is quite a bit of the jazzier stuff on "Architect of Darkness". There is a weird Kenny G meets folk metal part at the eight minute mark of this one.
The most conventional metal moments come at the beginning of "Blue Moon Duel". This lasts longer than I expected , the shift through various modes of metal, most of which are progressive. It's not until the five minute mark that it breaks down into the Current 93 sorta thing. The vocals take on more of a spoken word sort of thing, until the song builds. I would say over all this song is not as adventurous as it's predecessors. I have to give this one a 10 because the whole time I kept thinking that these guys did a better job than A Forest of Stars did on their last album, and those guys got a 9.5 so there is only one place to go from there.