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Released: 2016, Agonia Records
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.
1. Dominance & Submission
2. I Hate
4. My Creator
5. Infernal Majesty
7. Into the Abyss
8. The Eighth of the Seven Plagues
11. Where Dreams Come to Die
DezeptiCunt: Bass (guest only)
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