DØDHEIMSGARD — Satanic Art (review)

DØDHEIMSGARD — Satanic Art album cover EP · 1998 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
After two albums of fairly orthodox and good old fashioned second wave Norwegian black metal, DODHEIMSGARD started to get a lot more experimental and playful with their demented and devilish musical madness. Serving as a tradition of sort, they released an EP titled SATANIC ART in 1998, two years after their second album “Monumental Possession” and a year before their third “666 Internation.” SATANIC ART finds the band at an interesting halfway point between their second wave black metal origins and their avant-industrial leanings that follow.

SATANIC ART finds not only another lineup change but a few guest musicians adding all kinds of interesting new elements to the band’s new fangled black metal smorgasbord. This EP despite its short duration offers many transitions and not only musically. Svein Egil Hatlevik aka Mr. Dingy Sweet Talker Women Stalker (Fleurety) would debut as keyboardist and Galder (Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child) would pick up extra guitar duties but only on this one release. Cerberus replaced Jonas Alver on bass.

“Oneiroscope” introduces the new Dodheimsgard with a piano piece that sounds like demented carnival music in a minor chord or even a psycho-drama flick soundtrack piece with lots of murder scenes. While “Traces Of Reality” reverts into the super bombastic black metal of the past, it is punctuated by a “White Zombie-esque” sampling, eerie atmospheric keyboard effects and most surprisingly the guest musician Paganini virtuosity of guest violinist Stine Lunde. “Symptom” continues the black metal bombast but adds some underpinnings of industrial metal that would surface on “666 International.” “The Paramount Empire” also sticks to black metal a la “Monumental Possesion” but with a more loosy-goosy construct. The Finale “Wrapped In Plastic” is another piano driven outro.

Although this EP originally only clocked in at just under sixteen minutes, it exhibited more diverse elements than the first two albums combined. SATANIC ART has been virtually unattainable in a physical format at a decent price for two decades but has found at last a much needed rerelease in 2018 on Peaceville and adds a couple bonus tracks (“Black Treasure” and “Symptom (Alternate).” SATANIC ART is like dipping into the pool of avant-garde possibilities where obviously DODHEIMSGARD got the experimental bug and never looked back. Good for them because this is where they got really interesting and put themselves on the map in the metal world. Despite only being a little EP, this one is a monumental moment in experimental extreme metal.
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