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Album Of The Month March 2015
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

  1. The opening riff on that embed is pure DHG. deadly.

  2. Sounds great to these ears! Jaysus that’s serious praise, will have to have a listen in it’s entirety. I have a couple Monumental Possesion which gets regular spins can’t say the same for 666.

  3. Black Shepherd Says:

    Didn’t know they had a new one coming out and just put on Kronet til Konge today. If this is anything near that then that’s all good with me!

  4. i put on 666 international the other day and i found it had aged terribly to me ,almost as badly as la masquerade infernale another album i find it unbearable to listen to today .

  5. 666 Intl has aged rather badly. The production on this one however is far better, and will last longer. It’s warmer and much more organic and natural – not digitized like 666.

  6. not sure what to make of this

  7. It sounds amazing. Leave 666 alone, still sounds savage to me.

  8. I dunno I was expecting something a bit more experimental and daring from them. I will still be happy to check this out though. 666 International is great album I think also great keyboard parts on that and Satanic Art by the Fleurety ‎guy.

  9. resonant paddy Says:

    Sorry now but the vocals are dire… other than that it sounds alright. Nothing special tho, heard alot better.

  10. valedictionkev Says:

    Music/production is quite cool…it’s the waily vocal parts scattered throughout that grate me and detract from the music for me.

  11. inpassing Says:

    Thank fuck for that! All the rest of the shite for the last 15 years has been utter poser bollocks (in my opinion). Good to have some real Norwegian black metal again!

    Remember when things used to be interesting? Boundary pushing? Cool? I do.

    Furthermore, anyone who slags off 666 or Satanic Art should be shot dead immediately (and probably likes Watain).

  12. Dannygard Says:

    Fucking deadly album this, have been listening to it a good bit over the past few days. Aldrahn’s vocals are fucking excellent imo. And I def disagree that 666 sounds dated, I still think its a savage album along with the Satanic art ep. Prob my fav release of the year so far.

  13. Thought I’d wait till I really digested this masterpiece before I commented !! What an album , every listen offers something new ! There is a written in waters and la masquerade vibe ,which is fine with me ! Only complaint is vocals are too loud in the mix ( deadly vocals but )

  14. Tezcatlipoca Says:

    Excellent album. Between this and ‘Beware The Sword…’, 2015 looks to be another great year for Metal releases.

  15. Awesome album. Forgot how much I missed Aldrahn’s amazing vocals.

    If I’m being hyper critical it could be trimmed a little, but hey, this is a real blast to listen to. Definitely captures that ‘weirding of Norway’ vibe from ’97 more effectively than anything I’ve heard in many a year too.
    Good shit..

  16. Haha… people can’t stand Aldrahn’s vocals. They’re all pathetic. Bjorn is amazing.

  17. Ground breaking. Of the most creative and innovative albums since Emperors: Prometheus the discipline of fire and demise

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