RAGNAROK – PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

“Psychopathology” rips and tears through nearly fifty minutes, leaving little to no room for beautifying artistic pauses. A beast of an album!”

GENRE: Black/Death Metal
LABEL: Agonia Records
RUNNING TIME: 49:02
COUNTRY: Norway
YEAR: 2016
LINK: Ragnarok

TRACKLIST:

  1. Dominance & Submission
  2. I Hate
  3. Psychopathology
  4. My Creator
  5. Infernal Majesty
  6. Heretic
  7. Into The Abyss
  8. The Eight Of The Seven Plagues
  9. Lies
  10. Blood
  11. Where Dreams Go To Die

REVIEW: Some talk about transcendental anger, progression, while simultaneously making an effort in saving a world left in disorder. Then there are bands like Norway’s Ragnarok, putting pack primal practice into black metal music, stripped of “why can’t we all just get along” philosophies instead hailing eternal damnation.

ragnarok-cover
Psychopathology – Artwork credit: Marcelo Vasco

Although a few years behind their fellow brethren, this band has developed an intense black metal style without sounding stale. “Psychopathology” spells immediate blasphemous brutality, less stuck in the “true Norwegian black metal” sound, as was the case when I first stumbled upon the band on the fear inducing compilation “Blackend Vol. 3” some twenty odd years ago. By “Infernal Majesty”, the album has displayed some songs that are sonically punishing; nonstop black metal aggression with a fresh death metal rigorousness incorporated into the sound.

At no point do the Norwegians leave the blastfest and tremolo rapidness entirely. There are some short passages when things move a little slower, just a little, like in “The Eight Of The Seventh Plagues”, recalling that beefy stomp of the sadly defunct “Zyklon”. Longstanding member and skinsman Jontho has switched over to vocal duties on this album, producing some superior “De Mysteriis…” eeriness adding a classic mood to an album that otherwise sounds nothing like black metal anno ’93-94.

ragnarok-photo
Ragnarok – Photo credit: Arnheiður Bjørg Smáradóttir

Looking at the lyrical content alone, the band obviously has connections to the first wave of Norwegian black metal, but soundwise I think they have much more in common with the Swedish variant of aggression and preciseness, probably due to the cooperation with Magnus Devo Andersson and his Endarker Studios in Norrkøping. “I Hate”, the already mentioned “Infernal Majesty” and the ripping title track strike heavily with brutal atmospheres that are far removed from low-fi KVLT, grave-robbing atmospheres.

“Psychopathology” rips and tears through nearly fifty minutes, leaving little to no room for beautifying artistic pauses. A beast of an album!

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