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Ragnarok
Psychopathology
April 2016
Released: 2016, Agonia Records
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team

‘Psychopathology’ is one of the most anticipated black metal releases this year. In the last couple of years the band went through a lot of significant changes. Two years ago, Ragnarok’s frontman, HansFryste, decided to leave the band and focus on his own project Svarttjern. Losing a frontman and finding someone suitable for the job in already established band is not an easy task to do. The only original member of Ragnarok, Jontho, decided to leave his drum kit behind and front the band instead. Risky choice? Maybe. If that’s not enough, after seven years of playing bass guitar and doing back vocals DezeptiCunt also came to a decision to leave the band and focus on other things. In 2015, Ragnarok welcomed a new member, a 25 years old Malignant who is also known for playing drums in Dauden. With the line-up complete, Ragnarok was ready to go into the studio and record the new beast, ‘Psychopathology’.



The new album was produced by Marduk’s bassist, Devo and it’s going to be released on the Polish Agonia Records. This is the second Ragnarok album under this label. The cover artwork was created by Marcelo Vasco (Slayer, Machine Head, Dimmu Borgir). When you look at this combination of people involved with this record you just know it is going to be amazing, even without listening to it.



I must say it’s hard to determine single songs and talk about them separately. The reason behind it is that they’re just equally good. There are no breaks between the tracks so when you listen to it, it’s like never ending panzer force that forges ahead, getting angrier and more pissed off with every minute passing. Musically ‘Psychopathology’ is a continuation of the two previous releases. After listening to the first two tracks ‘Dominance & Submission’ and ‘I Hate’, you know that this band is not taking any prisoners. Total destruction and hateful chaos. The next three songs, the title ‘Psychopathology’ that was released by Agonia Records as the first song to promote this album, ‘My Creator’ and ‘Infernal Majesty’ are very groovy in a way and different from the rest. This unholy trio is very melodic and brutal at same time. Great choruses that stick to your head and I hope these three will make a setlist on the upcoming shows. The album continues with filled with hellfire ‘Heretic’ and super-fast ‘Into the Abyss’. The new drummer means the business. Seriously, how the hell can you sustain to play so fast? ‘The Eight of the Seven Plagues’, ‘Lies’ and ‘Blood’ once again is another set of three songs that feel like they’re connected together in a magic way. They all contain highly addictive change of tempos, interesting melodies and raging with hate vocals by the new frontman Jontho. The album is nicely finished with another brutal assault ‘Where Dreams Go to Die’. And then, you realise that you want more, you can’t believe it’s over, you know those eleven songs, this fifty minute record just ruined your miserable life. You know you have to play it again and again to maximise your pleasure.



‘Psychopathology’ is like a narcotic. Once you play it, you won't be able to stop. Ragnarok music is brutal, original and fresh. They never record the same album again. They always introduce something new and exciting. If you were skeptical about how the vocals would sound, Jontho knows exactly what’s best for the band and he has done a superb job. I have to give them 5/5. Seriously, this record is done to perfection.



Reviewed by Dawid Krosnia
Track Listing

1. Dominance and Submission
2. I Hate
3. Psychopathology
4. My Creator
5. Infernal Majesty
6. Heretic
7. Into The Abyss
8. The Eighth Of The Seven Plagues
9. Lies
10. Blood
11. Where Dreams Come To Die

Lineup

Jontho- Vocals
Bolverk- Guitars
Malignant- Drums
DezeptiCunt- Bass Guitar


Next review: » Ragnarok - Psychopathology
Previous review: » Ragnarok - Malediction

Ragnarok
Psychopathology
April 2016
Released: 2016, Agonia Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Norway’s Ragnarok, despite having been around for over 20 years (as of this writing), didn’t really make a splash in black metal circles until 2004’s BLACKDOOR MIRACLE opus. That album was a vicious slice of blackened mania that really garnered the band well-deserved attention. Since that time, the band has only managed 2 albums that have featured a revolving door of musicians. From the band’s previous lineups, only band leader Jontho has survived, along with Bolverk, who was the guitarist on 2012’s MALEDICTION. Hell, even bassist DezeptiCunt is only a guest on this album.



Lineup turmoil aside, PSYCHOPATHOLOGY shows that Ragnarok can still be counted on to provide virulent black metal that remains true to the second wave’s ethic. Tracks like “I Hate”, “Heretic” and “Dominance & Submission” (nice crib from Blue Oyster Cult, there) prove that thunderous, full-speed-ahead black metal continues to be the band’s bread & butter, with zero interest in straying from the path. Which is all well and good, except for the fact that it means that you will not hear anything on this album that you’ve not heard on hundreds of black metal albums since, oh, 1995. This also means that the songs all tend to blend together, making it difficult to pick out favorites.



Kudos to Jontho and Ragnarok for sticking to their guns, playing the music they want, and remaining resolute. That said, unless you are a fan who MUST have black metal played exactly the way it used to be 20 – 30 years ago, I’m not sure who will be clamouring to hear PSYCHOPATHOLOGY. It’s a solid slice of black metal, but nothing to be excited about.
Track Listing

1. Dominance & Submission
2. I Hate
3. Psychopathology
4. My Creator
5. Infernal Majesty
6. Heretic
7. Into the Abyss
8. The Eighth of the Seven Plagues
9. Lies
10. Blood
11. Where Dreams Come to Die

Lineup

Jontho: Vocals
Bolverk: Guitar
DezeptiCunt: Bass (guest only)
Malignant: Drums

Contact

N/A


Next review: » Rahu - The Quest for the vajra of shadows
Previous review: » Ragnarok - Malediction





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