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Ragnarok: Blackdoor Miracle

In Nordic mythology, "The Ragnarok" is described in the Icelandic poem Völuspá ("Sibyl's Prophecy"), and is a myth about the ultimate destruction of the gods in a battle with evil. Seems there will be a time of fire and ice, a great battle at the end of time between the gods and the Frost Giants in which the world gets destroyed and re-created.

Bloody charming. And you can bet that end-of-time battle will occur to the accompaniment of Blackdoor Miracle. Norway's Ragnarok is one of the more extreme black / death metal acts in the business today. There is some artistic merit here, but the Sea Of Tranquility's progressive rock or progressive metal fans will rightly be hard to convince. Make no mistake – we are not anti-death metal. Witness our raving reviews of (and interviews with) Opeth, Into Eternity, and other intelligent death metal acts. Those bands use the same death growls, similar chord progressions, equally bleak lyrics and at times, adopt the same doom and gloom outlook. But those bands also build variety and melody and interesting instrumentation into their music. Ragnarok does not.

There are some decent riffs, and the rhythm is impeccable – which is lucky because this record is nothing but rhythm. 42 Minutes of heavy, aggressive, unrelenting, kick-drum-driven bludgeoning of furious minor-key rhythms. Don't listen for any guitar solos, tempo changes, keyboard tones, any kind of texture, or even a single note of clean singing. After ten years and five CDs, Ragnarok knows their audience and this is designed to appeal to them. It is linear stuff – hard, unapologetically raw, and there is almost no variation from song to song. It is aggressive, bloody and brutal.

Oddly enough, the lyrics aren't bad. 'Oddly' because you can't hear a word through all those sick evil screeches. Believe it or not, there can be melody in death metal vocals – but you won't find it here.

Is Ragnarok too extreme for the New Intellectuals of Sea Of Tranquility? Our recommendation: Go to their website, click on "Downloads", and try before you buy.

Track Listing:
1. Preludium
2. Heir Of Darkness
3. Recreation Of The Angel
4. Rites Of Geburah
5. Blackdoor Miracle
6. Murder
7. Kneel
8. Bless Thee For Granting Me Pain
9. Journey From Life

Added: July 6th 2004
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: Ragnarok's Web Site
Hits: 3762
Language: english

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