DØDHEIMSGARD — Supervillain Outcast (review)

DØDHEIMSGARD — Supervillain Outcast album cover Album · 2007 · Industrial Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
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.
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UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Great and quite varied release this one. It´s not quite as avant or adventurous as the predecessor, but I think I enjoy this one just a bit more, because it´s more accessible.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Yeah i agree for the most part. I guess the avant-garde comes in with the way it's all sewn together. The industrial parts are certainly weirder than most in the sub but i'm glad this isn't in the AG section here because it's certainly more accessible than many other bands in that category
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Good review, I love this album too. To be honest though, I've never understood what's so avant-garde about it. It's not too different from a lot of industrial black metal to my ears, just more electronic based,

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