Released: 2004, Regain Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Norwegian black metallers, Ragnarok, are back with a new album. The band formed 1994 and in 2001 switched record companies signing with the Swedish label, Regain Records. In 2002 the band switched vocalists accepting Hoest into their ranks. Hoest was formerly the singer in the black metal band Taake from Norway. On the band’s new album BLACKDOOR MIRACLE they returned to Abyss studio in Sweden for the recording. As on their previous album, producer Tommy Tagtgren has once again done a brilliant job - everything he touches sounds amazing.
Ragnarok play ultra-aggressive, grim, fast, hateful, dark, and atmospheric black metal with some influences from some melodic heavy metal. To many, Ragnarok have become a cult band and a much underestimated one at that. They are also one of the few black metal bands who play genuine and true black metal which I appreciate a lot. Their previous release, IN NOMINE SATANAS, impressed me a great deal. It was true black metal at its best and I think that Lord Arcamous did a unforgettable job with the vocals. As usual, when it comes to black metal, the lyrics are about death, satan, anxiety, darkness, and that fun kind of stuff. Just have to look at the song titles and you’ll begin to understand what they're about. I thought that Lord Arcamous impressed big time on the previous album but in my opinion Hoest is even better on this one. He has more variation in his voice and it fits better to the music. He may not be the greatest singer ever, but his voice really fits the music.
The songs on "BLACKDOOR MIRACLE" feels more worked through, better arranged, and overall stronger than the last release. I liked the previous one a lot but this is even better (if that's possible) and there's nothing bad to say about this at all. This is real, genuine, pure old school black metal. Ragnarok don't have any keyboards or samplers involved like some of their Norwegian colleagues.
Ragnarok has done it again, another strong album that's even better than the last one. There is only one rating to give this album and that is 5 of 5. All of the songs are high class straight through and the cover reflects their music very well. I hope that more people discover this sadly underestimated Norwegian band. This is an absolute "must buy" album for everyone who likes black metal.
Ragnarok’s plans for 2004 is to play live as much as possible and during 2004 they also celebrate their 10th anniversary as a band (congratulations!)! They also plan to release something special to their fans to mark the occasion.