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Blackdoor Miracle
March 2004
Released: 2004, Regain Records
Rating: 5.0/5
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.
Track Listing

Heir of Darkness
Recreation of The Angel
Rites of Geburah
Blackdoor Miracle
Bless The For Granting Me Pain
Journey From Life


Jontho - drums
Jerv - bass
Rym - guitar
Hoest - lead vocals

Next review: » Ragnarok - Blackdoor Miracle
Previous review: » Raging Steel - Guilty as Charged

Blackdoor Miracle
July 2004
Released: 2004, Regain
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

There are a number of bands past and present called Ragnarok but these Norwegians have been around ten years and are truly established in the Black Metal scene. This is their fifth CD overall, second on the Regain label but only my first time enjoying their hate-filled music.

A few things caught my eye…an odd collage type cover with Jontho the drummer pointing a handgun at the viewer and a computer derived mix of blood, fire a naked with bulletholes (?) in her back. I’ve always felt the mix of modern weaponry and primal black Metal imagery was an odd mismatch. Inside we get a fairly standard group of photos of the lads smeared in blood but looking much more realistic and gruesome than say, for example the photos of the band Raise Hell in the ‘Holy Target’ booklet.

I also noted that there are only so many patterns for corpse-paint and I would be hard pressed to identify these guys standing next to members of bands like Enthroned, Enshadowed, Obsidian Gate, Unearthly, Siebenburgen etc… however, that is ultimately irrelevant because while the band adheres to the conventions of the genre image and standing out based on looks is not what this is all about. The CD title is odd, I assumed it was supposed to be ‘BACKdoor miracle’ some evil anal reference considering the photo on the front. The lyrics carry an evil and elegant simplicity to them even if they are not completely grammatically correct. The three songs with lyrics penned by new vocalist Hoest ‘Murder’, Kneel’ and the title track are my favorite, and the others are written oddly enough by a third party.

Speaking of Hoest, he has a killer voice but I have no comparison to the previous vocalists. He stays in a mid-range scream, not too much growl and very little of the hiss or shriek style of delivery. Oddly enough my favorite cut is ‘ Murder’ the slowest and using a VERY liberal definition of the word, commercial song. Overall the CD is a blitz of misanthropic speed, razor sharp guitars, blast-beats and a fairly modern take on the genre, certainly with cleaner louder production with greater separation of the instruments in the mix. Ragnarok are crushing Black Metal gets high marks all around for the sonic intensity and delivery of musical hate.
Track Listing

1. Preludium
2. Heir of Darkness
3. Recreation Of The Angel
4. Rites of Geburah
5. Blackdoor miracle
6. Murder
7. Kneel
8. Bless Thee For Granting Me Pain
Journey From Life





Next review: » Ragnarok - Collectors Of The King
Previous review: » Raging Steel - Guilty as Charged

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