Dodheimsgard | ‘A Umbra Omega’
Tell me that it’s not abundantly obvious when you’re listening to a record of real calibre. Of real creative genius.
You just know it, don’t you? Right from the start. You know you’re hearing greatness. If you don’t, you should.
You get that feeling when you listen to Ved Buens Ende, or Virus, or Thorns, or any other of the Norwegian weirdo scene’s small coterie of mind-melding genii. They just operate on another musical plane from everyone else.
This small, select circle basically makes magic with each of their releases. And ‘Ad Umbra Omega’ is the latest in their offering.
Dodheimshard’s main man Vicotnik basically laid the groundwork for this style himself, as far back as 1994. It is so gratifying to hear that more than 20 years later, he still has his best work in him.
Supreme Immortal Art
I must have listened to this album 30 times or more trying to unpeel its many, many layers. It is nothing less than a pleasure each time.
And as off the wall as it is, summing it up is really rather easy. Take the classic Ved Buens Ende sound from ‘Written In Waters’, marry it to the obscurantist ways of Mayhem’s ‘Esoteric Warfare’ and Thorns’ classic full length, add a pinch of Arcturus at their more playful, and there you sort of have it.
Yet this is not quite to do justice to the absolutely stunning nature of the passages and movements in here.
Contemplate the dark, spacey 15 minute epic ‘Aphelion Void’. Half way through a clean guitar plucks emptily over a dark synth riff that creates such a pitch black sci-fi vibe, you lose yourself in it.
At the end, after a bit of an acoustic jangle that recalls Porcupine Tree, we get one of the fastest and most savage blastbeats on the album – an absolutely crushing duality of tones.
‘God Protocal Axiom’ opens with a similarly ferocious blasting, before going seriously trippy and expansive in a way that I’m still figuring out. I might get there some day.
And yet there are even more blasts to revel in, as the punishin opening of ‘The Unlocking’ ushers in a Thorns-esque icicle cold post-black metal masterpiece.
Old fans of Ved Buens Ende will lap this up, as the bass goes on the most groovy and enjoyable undercurrent of wandering at the halfway mark – jarring notes collide, blasts power it all forward and Aldrahn goes at his most operatically insane. It is fucking incredible.
Not Fashionable – Important
Trying to sum up its scale and scope is monstrously difficult. You basically cant – you just submit to it, get the headphones on and hit the teleporter beam. Like the best Sigh, Solefald and their kin, it’s all you can do.
It’s not a snazzy cover, they’re not a trendy band, and this record will likely garner massive critical acclaim before hitting obscurity again. They will gain few column inches and wont be on tour in your town.
But there is no way this talent, these incredible musicians who’ve given so so much to the Black Metal scene since basically the start, cannot be awarded Album Of the Month for this amazing opus.
It is utterly essential in every sense – a voyage far past black metal and into the black hole itself. Hear it, and prize it on your shelves beside ‘Written In Waters’, ‘The Linear Scaffold’ ‘Thorns’ and ‘La Masquerade Infernale’.
It is exquisite.
5/5 – Earl Grey ::: 10/03/15