Sunday, October 22, 2017 08:09

Posts Tagged ‘Dødsengel’

DØDSENGEL / HETROERTZEN – CAPAX INFINITI LP (Lamech Records / Barghest)

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Dødsengel Hetroertzen - Capax InfinitiIt’s not just the music on this split LP that’s phenomenal. Aesthetically, the vinyl edition of ‘Capax Infinity’ is truly spectacular. The sublime front cover artwork looks amazing in the 12”x12” dimensions that grace all full-length records, while the lyrics of all four songs are contained alongside some sumptuous and intriguing drawings on the delightful inner sleeve.

See all those superlatives (or grown-up adjectives) I’ve just used? Phenomenal, spectacular, sublime, amazing, sumptuous and delightful? Those also apply to the musical contributions of Dødsengel and Hetroertzen – the finest Norwegian and Chilean (s)wines – to this essential release.

For undeniably majestic, magnificent, monumental obscure and eclectic underground Black Metal, look no further.

Acquire or expire.

Evilometer: 666/666

NIGHTBRINGER / DØDSENGEL – CIRCUMAMBULATIONS OF THE SOLAR INFERNO LP (Daemon Worship Productions)

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Nightbringer DødsengelThere are some records you simply cannot go wrong with and ‘Circumambulations Of The Solar Inferno’ is one such effort. Featuring two of the more interesting bands around at the moment, this split LP comprises the most glorious racket to have reached my ears in many’s the long year.

I assume from the song titles that this is a concept album of sorts. Either way, we get four songs of occult, esoteric Black Metal of the very highest calibre.

Nightbringer specialise in split vinyls – this is the fourth one to make its way into my collection! – but ‘Circumambulations Of The Solar Inferno’ represents a first collaborative effort from Norway’s finest, Dødsengel. I think any band should be happy to share some black-wax space with them!

The Americans deliver two trademark chaotic swirlfests on Side A, which are fantastic offerings in their own right but not quite as magnificent as what occurs on Side B. Both tracks from Dødsengel demonstrate a remarkable appreciation and manipulation of dynamic; stellar song-writing and execution resulting in a resounding confirmation that Dødsengel  have lost none of the magic that typified ‘Mirium Occultum’ and ‘Imperator’ (as well as practically everything else they have put their name to).

In the near-thirteen-minute closer, ‘Watchtower Of The South: Drunk Upon Inmost Fire’, we are treated to an absolutely monstrous cocktail of fury and panache. Cathartic stuff, indeed. (The record looks amazing, too, with great artwork and all lyrics included.)

Evilometer: 666/ 666

DØDSENGEL – IMPERATOR (Terratur Possessions / Barghest)

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

It’s a great honour for this website to exclusively reveal that Dødsengel are about to release an astonishing new double album entitled ‘Imperator’. Comprising a staggering 22 songs stretched out over two-and-a-half hours, this has to be one of the best surprises I’ve ever had. My love of this band is no secret but I feel foolish now for criticising them for releasing a mere EP last time out – little did I know that something as substantial as the utterly incredible ‘Imperator’ was in the works!

From the opening strains of ‘XXV’ it is clear that this double-helping represents the inimitable Norwegians at their magnificent best – easily on a par with this – and the journey is a true joy to behold as we are escorted through astonishing works of Black Metal madness such as ‘Sun On Earth’, ‘Σειρῆνες’ ‘No Beginning, No End’, ‘Momentum: On The Devil And Death’ and the captivating, mesmeric ‘Holy Metamorphosis’ – an unhallowed anthem that showcases the immense dynamic and class of Dødsengel, who remain compelling no matter what pace they play at.

And that’s just a quarter of the album! There is no let-up as an avalanche of ugly, beautiful, harsh, melodic, eerie, mellow, intense, multifaceted art gushes forth like so much blood from an open vein.

I’m not overly keen on the female vocals that accompany Kark’s on ‘Apoph-Ra’ (and again later in the album) but even I must admit that they do fit the bizarre, twisted, swirling chords extremely well. It would be churlish of me to slam a moment that’s more Jarboe than WITTR, especially considering the sheer depth and magnitude of this release, which needs to be consumed and appreciated as a whole. Within the overall context of the music, ‘Apoph-Ra’ remains essential and vital. Indeed, there is no dud track to be found anywhere here – although I do prefer some to others.

As the album continues to reveal itself, exposing a myriad of faces and personæ, visiting multiple moods and mindsets, ebbing and flowing like a schizophrenic behemoth, from the orchestra brilliance of ‘Pneuma’ to the dark chaos of the raven-like ‘Hymn To Pan’, the insanity of ‘Upon The Beast She Rideth’ and the psychological pandemonium of ‘The Supreme Ritual’, it is all-too-apparent that we are in the company of greatness.

In terms of scope, vision and ambition, ‘Imperator’ possesses all the ingredients required to become one of the great Black Metal releases. Dødsengel have outdone themselves here. Hopefully this double album will receive the credit and attention it richly deserves. If not, it will still bring copious amounts of satisfaction to those lucky enough to stumble upon it. Mark this one down on your Things To Do list immediately.

Evilometer: 666/666

DØDSENGEL – DØDSENGEL EP (Terratur Possessions / Ván Records / Barghest)

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

The music on this release is superb but the value for money quotient is minimal. As Dødsengel is arguably the most essential Black Metal band in the universe right now, there was never any doubting how good these songs would be. They are – true to form – absolutely superb. But, seriously, what is the point of mini-albums?

I’ve never quite been able to get my head around the concept of releasing MCDs and MLPs – this is available in both formats – and the only conclusion I can draw is that they are a quick cash-grab. There has to be an economic reason behind these decisions. In fairness, at 28+ minutes, ‘Dødsengel’ is far from the worst offender. But it’s still only half an album and it’s not half price.

I assume that most people, like me, can’t nip into their nearest corner store and buy Black Metal CDs or records. Therefore, we are restricted to purchasing via mail order. Thus, mini-albums are prohibitively expensive – you still pay the same postage and packaging charge as for a full-length and the actual selling price is only a couple of Euro less, so overall we’re talking about a bad return on the listener’s investment. In these global recessionary times, this is unacceptable.

The music on ‘Dødsengel’ is magnificent and easily surpasses most other current releases in terms of quality if not quantity. Comparable to the stellar material on the band’s exceptional sophomore LP ‘Mirium Occultum’, these four songs are harsh, menacing, disturbing, eerie, epic and altogether inebriating examples of prime BM excellence, but I really think fans deserve to be presented with a full album’s worth of material rather than a succession of EPs. This is the band’s fourth EP in a year and I’ve purchased them all but it’s a fucking expensive hobby. The guts of twenty quid for four songs? Seriously, give me a break!

Great and all as Dødsengel is, the novelty factor of collecting a flurry of expensive underground releases soon wears off. I think they should stop messing around and release proper albums – a format that  would do justice to the Norwegians’ brilliance.

[Unfortunately, the absolute maximum rating I can give this is 333. Mini-albums are a joke and labels (there are three involved here for some reason) should stop releasing them.]

Evilometer: 333/666

DØDSENGEL – MIRIUM OCCULTUM 2LP (Terratur Possessions)

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

MANDATORY PURCHASE ALERT! This is one of the only reviews I wrote for Metal Archives during my ‘disillusioned period’. The reason why I penned it was simple: I had bought an album that deserved to be heard by as many people as possible. Dødsengel is one of the most amazing bands to come out of Norway in the past 20 years and ‘Mirium Occultum‘ is their best work so far, though the ‘Arkaik‘ MC and ‘Alongside Choronzon‘ MLP are also exceptional in their own rights…

Every now and then an album comes along that literally knocks me out. Despite all the nostalgic shite that’s written about the good old days, Black Metal is stronger than it has ever been, with more diversity and more quality than ever before. Admittedly, some of the sub-subgenres are suspect to say the least, but overall Black Metal is in a wonderfully healthy state.

But you won’t find the true quality on big labels or in your local record store. Remember, this is underground music and – no matter how much certain individuals try to cash in on it – BM will always blossom in the nether regions of the UG. Those prepared to dig deepest will get the richest rewards. Bear in mind that if you read a review in Terrorizer or Zero Tolerance, chances are you are being mis-led. Pretty much every printed magazine has a reciprocal relationship with certain labels – “they take ads in our mag, we give their releases good reviews.” It’s dishonest, actually (and one of the reasons why I hardly write anymore myself). Same applies to webzines – ‘they send us free promos so we’ll say they are fucking fantastic’. The hype machine is in full swing and it’s all PR drivel designed to shove the latest mainstream concoction down your throat. Well I say – shove it back up their asses!

The ONLY way you’ll ever find truly great Black Metal is to trawl the underground for yourself. That way you’ll come across bands like Onirik, Lunar Aurora, The Ruins of Beverast, Ride For Revenge and Dødsengel. Quality releases that are not advertised; music that speaks for itself; released on small labels with honest intent and integrity.

I have listened to thousands of albums over the past 20 years and I can honestly say I’ve never heard a better one than ‘Mirium Occultum‘. Take it from me: this is an absolute classic. It comes from nowhere and epitomises everything that’s so special about this strain of extreme music. It’s harsh, shrill, evil, nasty, creepy, menacing and perfectly executed. The production is absolutely perfect as it allows everything to breathe without being overly-polished and the songs themselves are masterpieces, each and every one.

This is Black Metal the way it should be and it is surely no coincidence that this foul entity rears its ugly head in Norway. Raw yet accessible, ‘Mirium Occultum‘ is as emotional and atmospheric as it is unnerving and downright filthy. The use of melody is genius as everything is washed away in a sea of dissonance and anger. This is an album that has everything; a band that has topped Deathspell Omega, Funeral Mist and Clandestine Blaze in one fell swoop. And, believe me, I do not pen these words lightly.

I almost feel guilty for exposing this hidden gem as the work of art it is. It’s so good it deserves to remain lost in the underground forever. Probably the best album I own. If you only buy one more CD before topping yourself, make sure it’s ‘Mirium Occultum’. Nobody could regret owning this.

Evilometer: 666/666