Released: 2010, Regain
It’s been almost six years since I reviewed the last Ragnarok album, BLACKDOOR MIRACLE. I suppose it has been a tough half decade because virtually everyone in the band is gone, the singer, guitarist and bassist have all been replaced leaving only the drummer Jontho as the sole remaining original member. That makes three vocalists in three albums. However, they are still kicking and just released album #6. It’s hard to maintain consistency and stability with constant line-up changes, but they give it their best shot.
No matter what a band might say, if 75% or more of your band has changed the song-writing is going to be affected. Unless Jontho wrote all the songs, which I doubt (because the whole band is credited on the previous album) a massive line-up shuffle is going to make a significant change. Well, after a short, atmospheric intro with spoken word voice-over we are off to the races with the band ripping through 38 minutes of Black Metal mayhem.
There is nothing actually wrong with COLLECTORS, it’s just that it just didn’t strike me in the way BLACKDOOR did. It’s fast, evil, dark, relentless with killer vocals, but there is a same-ness to the songs. It all blends together and blurs by. It is intense and unforgiving as good Black Metal should be but something is lacking this time around, a component or element is missing that stops it from being in the upper echelon. ‘In Honour of Satan’ is probably the strongest track to my ears with just a hint more sonic diversity and pacing to make it more interesting.
Perhaps my expectations were too high or I haven’t given the release enough attention but this album didn’t meet my hopes or expectations this time around.