DØDHEIMSGARD
Black Metal / Industrial Metal / Avant-garde Metal • Norway

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Dødheimsgard (sometimes shortened as DHG) was originally a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1994, but 1999's 666 International saw them change into an experimental and avant-garde metal band. They went through some lineup changes, replacing Aldrahn, Zweizz and Czral.

"Dødheimsgard" is a conjunction of three words: Død which means death, heim which means home and gard which means (at least in this context) mansion. A natural translation into English would be "Mansion of Death", alternatively Realm of the Dead/Death.

In 2006 they completed the new album Supervillain Outcast, which was released in April 2007 by Moonfog Productions and The End Records.
Thanks to UMUR, xaxaar for the updates

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DØDHEIMSGARD Discography

DØDHEIMSGARD albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Kronet til konge
Black Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.02 | 2 ratings
Monumental Possession
Black Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 16 ratings
666 International
Black Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.30 | 17 ratings
Supervillain Outcast
Industrial Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.24 | 4 ratings
A Umbra Omega
Avant-garde Metal 2015

DØDHEIMSGARD EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.51 | 3 ratings
Satanic Art
Black Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mork Skog
Black Metal 2005

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DØDHEIMSGARD demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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DØDHEIMSGARD Reviews

DØDHEIMSGARD Kronet til konge

Album · 1995 · Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
DØDHEIMSGARD (Norweigian for “Realm Of Death” formed in 1994 in Oslo by Vicotnik (drums), Fenriz (bass) and Aldrahn (lead vocals, guitar). They were yet another band who jumped on the Darkthrone bandwagon of second wave black metal and should be commended for becoming perfect clones on their first album KRONET TIL KONGE (“Crowned To Be King.”) All those early black metal traits are here in perfect replication. All the buzz saw guitars and tremolo picking, the shrieked unintelligible vocals and of course the lo-fi demo quality sound production peppered with all the anti-Christian Satanic lyrics (albeit mostly in Norweigian) about slaughtering God, winning the war and all the usual suspects.

While DØDHEIMSGARD would evolve fairly quickly even as soon as their second release “Monumental Possession” which would find them finding their own creative stamp on black metal before they would really delve into the avant-garde and industrial worlds, KRONET TIL KONGE is so generic it hurts after coming to this last after their original and creative run of “Satanic Art” to “A Umbra Omega.” In fact if you placed any of these tracks on the first few Darkthrone albums no one would know the difference except for a slightly different sound of the vocals. The song structures are nearly identical as is the overall bleak atmospheric din.

There is nothing really bad about KRONET TIL KONGE either. It’s as good as any other standard second wave black metal release of the era, but with a band as original as DØDHEIMSGARD it comes across as woefully substandard and even though i am a huge fans of this band i have skipped this one until i found the 2015 remastered version used in mint condition and took a chance. While i’m happy i have tasted this early roots era of DØDHEIMSGARD, i very much doubt if i’ll be throwing this on for listening pleasure. Average and for completists only.

DØDHEIMSGARD Supervillain Outcast

Album · 2007 · Industrial Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Four full albums in from beginning as a rather ordinary second wave black metal outfit and DØDHEIMSGARD perfected their blackened industrial avant-garde metal sound on SUPERVILLAIN OUTCAST which was introduced on their EP “Satanic Art” and further developed on “666 International.” Many changes took place since the last album with the most obvious being that the band shortened their name to DHG and a huge lineup change left almost a completely new band with the only founding member Vicotnik left on his guitar, samples and programming duties. Vocalist Aldrahn left the band and was replaced by Kvohst. The bass baton was passed from Apollyon to Clandestine and Mr Magic Logic’s keyboards were dismissed while the other members picked up different secondary instrumental duties. Czral went from official percussionist to the unofficial “additional personnel.” With all this dystopia rocking the band’s world i would expect the music to sound completely different but despite it all, the music sounds exactly like the next logical step of development in the avant-garde musical world that DØDHEIMSGARD had been leading up to. Only this one is done right. Perfectly so.

SUPERVILLAIN OUTCAST begins with a short intro that makes me think of Chinese music from the 30s or something with the instrumental “Dushman” but violently bursts into black metal fury on “Vendatta Assassin” for a few measures with progressive touches of time signature freak outs and then jumps into the heavily caffeinated industrial metal sound with heavy bass and drums leading the fury and the guitars adding jittery licks at hyper speed all the while Kvohst delivers shouted vocals that are somewhat blackened but he also mixes up his vox box with death growls and whispered industrial sounding utterings. Generally speaking many of the tracks are garnished with heavy black metal riffing that alternate with industrial metal types of power chord riffing while ambient keyboards create eerie howling in the background with heavy percussive blastbeats dominating the rhythmic section and a hyperactive bass interaction to match. There is much attention paid to sound effects and electronic noises and textures to add a whole other dimension behind the metal sounds. Vocals vary quite a bit when not in extreme metal mode. There are several passages with chanting and clean vocals that steer the music into progressive metal territory.

In addition to the majority of hyper-extreme tracks there are a few that stand out from the general feel of the album. “Secret Identity” is a short a cappella track that sounds like monks chanting in some far away monastery and like many of the metal tracks has a slight trace of dissonance. The following “The Vile Delinquents” is full-on industrial metal with choppy industrial riffs and heavy electronica sound effects before erupting into more heavy guitar riffing. “Apocalypticism” sound more alternative metal and reminds me a lot of the track “Caffeine” from Faith No More’s “Angel Dust” especially in the vocal phrasing department but also has a cool guitar tone and techno like percussion. “Chrome Balaclava” is another a cappella track with several voices harmonizing wordless utterings while an intermittent shaky thing adds a little percussion. “All Is Not Self” is probably the most out-of-place sounding track on SUPERVILLAIN OUTCAST. This one sounds like a big beat techno track with vocals that reminds me of Richard Butler from The Psychedelic Furs! The electro-beat is heavy with background vocals providing ghostly haunting sounds. The fury returns on the next track and then another a cappella type shorty with “Cellar Door.”

SUPERVILLAIN OUTCAST is an outstanding album for many reasons. Firstly it is the pinnacle of the avant-garde industrial black metal sound that DØDHEIMSGARD had been perfecting and all the new musicians pull if off beautifully. Secondly the production is also perfect as every little sound is allowed space to be heard and the instruments have their own role within a larger context that create a complete band sound. Another successful strategy is the focus on the extreme avant-garde metal with little serene fillers that punctuate the frenetic nature of the album and to top it off the compositions are just perfectly catchy with super aggressive hooks and electronic embellishments to add layers of counterpoint creating a mesmerizing contrast with the dominant guitar riff focus. The black metal is perfectly balanced with the industrial and the avant-garde is used as a supplement instead of getting into territory too strange for the uninitiated listener. Personally this is one of those albums that made a huge impact the first time i ever heard it and still holds up after many listens. What could you call this? I’m not sure but think Ulver’s first album mixed with some Ministry and maybe even some Prodigy and you’re getting close.

DØDHEIMSGARD A Umbra Omega

Album · 2015 · Avant-garde Metal
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Warthur
Dødheimsgard had offered up industrialised black metal on 666 International, went dark for a good number of years, and then re-emerged offering blackened industrial metal on Supervillain Outcast. Now, after another long break, the project has offered up A Umbra Omega, which sees Vicotnik and his new lineup taking Dødheimsgard back out of the industrial realm altogether to produce an album which retains a black metal foundation but gets extremely weird with it. With proggy synthesisers, jazzy brass sections, and a vocal performance from Aldrahn with a theatrical, eccentric delivery that puts me in mind of the sort of thing Devil Doll get up to, A Umbra Omega represents an avant-black puzzlebox which will reward patient listeners.

DØDHEIMSGARD 666 International

Album · 1999 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
This is where things really got weird for DØDHEIMSGARD. After two second wave black metal by the numbers albums they shifted gears and released their transitional EP “Satanic Art” which still found the band firmly in black metal territory but also added the additional elements of industrial metal which signaled an abrupt change in their sound within the ever growing newbies in the second wave black metal cult. The risk paid off and it proved to be a sound that not only set them apart from the pack but packed a punch of industrial black metal fury. On 666 INTERNATIONAL the band continued this newly discovered niche and developed it even further. Other black metal bands had sampled with industrial and electronica such as Ulver who would go this route as well but abandoned the black metal aspects altogether in favor of the sonic possibilities of synthesized sounds. Also on board was fellow Norwegians Arcturus who developed their own style of space metal but it was DØDHEIMSGARD that kept the adrenaline, punk attitude and ferocity of the second wave of black metal in tact.

The album begins innocently enough with a piano tinkling away but after a mere second becomes accompanied by blastbeats and guitar riff fury for a few measures and then totally changes into a Nine Inch Nails industrial rock sound soon to be joined by Aldrahn’s clean Skinny Puppy type vocals. The electro rock style plays on for a while and it becomes easy to forget that this is a metal album at all until about seven minutes in when the black metal kicks back in only instead of blastbeats we get some simple industrial drumbeats and background vocal “hoys” that remind me of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” Such is the sound of the new DØDHEIMSGARD, a veritable smorgasbord of electro rock, industrial metal and still enough black metal on board to please any of the skeptics. As the album giddily trots in the avant-garde pastures there are many other styles that make their way into the mix. While the main percussive gist falls into the industrial metal realm with black metal blastbeats interpolating themselves sporadically and intermittently, it is the black metal that dominates the guitars and bass but they often drop out all together and are replaced by softer dreamier jangled passages as well seemingly in battle with industrial electronica and

The album is generally very frantic but there are also totally out of place instrumentals that add contrasting styles to the mix. “Carpet Bombing” is simply a jazz piano piece that instils a spooky vibe with slightly dissonant notes slowly lulling the listener into a sudden serene state before “Regno Potiti” jumps back into black industrial franticness once again followed by the similar “Final Conquest.” Next up another piano ballad with “Logic.” Not jazzy but more classical lasting a mere minute before “Sonar Bliss” ferociously bombards the senses with full jangly dissonant black metal riffs and speed-of-light blastbeat percussion. After dominance is well established it seems to have a break down of style and become some oddly timed progressive industrial workout with jangly arpeggios churning out strange time signatures, angular rhythms and tempo freak outs. There are periodic passages where the keyboard dominates with wild and innovative timbres that add a whole new layer to the avant-garde feel of 666 INTERNATIONAL.

While the theme is purported to be of science fiction, i can’t really find any rhyme or reason to the whole thing. This is a true trip down the avant-garde rabbit hole which could possibly be the soundtrack for a Salvador Dalí painting as random sounds callathump rhythmically ahead taking turns bleating out their unexpected matchings of percussion, distortions and vocal styles. I would probably characterize 666 INTERNATIONAL more in the industrial metal field than black at this point. There is a lot of attention paid to an industrial feel even when black metal bursts on to the scene. Aldrahn’s vocals remind me most of Nivek Ogre from Skinny Puppy whose tortured painful screams of anguish punctuate the cacophonous din and electronically imbued atmosphere. Overall, this is one weird album but a kind of weird that i love! Personally i prefer the following “Supervillain Outcast” because of the better bringing to order of all of the elements but 666 INTERNATIONAL is still one sick wild ride! I dig the entire scene with the exception of the lame use of silent tracks at the end. Tracks 10 through 65 are pure silence averaging about ten seconds each and then at track 66 we get a rather unnecessary and uninteresting bonus track followed by a psytrance beat with blackened Skinny Puppy type vocals. End the album at track 9 and all is good.

DØDHEIMSGARD A Umbra Omega

Album · 2015 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"A Umbra Omega" is the 5th full-length studio album by Norwegian progressive extreme metal act Dødheimsgard. The album was released through Peaceville Records in March 2015. It´s the successor to "Supervillain Outcast" from 2007, so there´s been quite gap in time between the two releases. If you look back in the band´s discography that´s not unusual though as there was an 8 year gap between the release of "666 International (1999)" and "Supervillain Outcast (2007)" too. A recording output of 3 albums in 16 years isn´t exactly prolific, but main man behind the project Vicotnik (real name Yusaf Parvez) has been busy with other projects like Code and Naer Mataron, and "A Umbra Omega" also features an almost completely revamped lineup compared to the lineup who recorded "Supervillain Outcast (2007)". Actually the only remaining member from the lineup of the predecessor is Vicotnik. Lead vocalist Kvohst has been replaced by a returning Aldrahn though (Dødheimsgard singer in the period 1994-2004), so there is at least one more familiar face in the lineup on "A Umbra Omega".

Dødheimsgard has been Vicotnik´s project for the last many years though, so while "A Umbra Omega" doesn´t sound like neither "666 International (1999)" nor "Supervillain Outcast (2007)" (or any of their early releases for that matter), it´s still unmistakably the sound of Dødheimsgard. The twisted and abstract take on extreme metal which draws influences from as diverse musical styles as avant garde, progressive rock/metal, black metal, thrash metal, death metal, and industrial metal (and even a touch of goth) is quite unique.

Where "Supervillain Outcast (2007)" typically comprised of "regular" length tracks with recognisable vers/chorus structures (although still quite adventurous), "A Umbra Omega" is a very different kind of beast. 6 tracks and a full playing time of 67:10 minutes means that all tracks, except the short intro track "The Love Divine", are over 10 minutes long and two of them are even close to 15 minutes in length. All tracks disregard regular vers/chorus structures, and almost no sections are repeated twice during any track. So the tracks are long continuous journeys and quite complex in structure. They are not instantly catchy like some tracks on the predecessor, and require many spins before they settle, and even then they are quite hard to tell apart. In fact the whole album feels more like one long track divided into chapters/suites, than seperate tracks.

Stylistically we´re treated to an avant garde/progressive take on black/extreme metal, with quite expressive and paatos filled vocals in front (sometimes black metal raspy and other times howling and deranged). The whole thing comes off as a dark and twisted theater piece. The avant garde approach to singing occasionally sounds a bit constructed to me, and to my ears Aldrahn was a lot more convincing on "666 International (1999)".

"A Umbra Omega" is well produced, and the musicianship is also on a high level, so it´s a high quality release on most parameters. The long tracks with almost no reoccuring sections is an innovative and progressive move by Dødheimsgard, but it´ll probably divide the band´s listeners. Personally I´m a bit biased as I usually praise innovation and boldness in music, but on the other hand there´s little here which makes me feel like I´ve listened to an album that is on par with their two previous releases, and overall "A Umbra Omega" does feel like a step down for the band. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is still deserved, and if you´re able to appreciate the way the material is constructed that rating should probably be slightly higher.

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