Ragnarok - Malediction (2012) - 0.666

We have another album by the almighty Norwegians, the second since their long hiatus. While it was a huge letdown for the first few listens, it only needed time to find its place among the band's other releases.

The album starts out with a short symphonic intro as part of Blood of Saints. Don't let this fool you though, they haven't returned to their symphonic sound, nor have they continued the path of Collectors of the King. The addition of Bolverk changed both the overall sound and the songwriting. Both remind the listener to the works of Svarttjern (and to Mortuus-era Marduk to some extent), the fact of both bands sharing the same vocalist just empowers this impression. The only typical about this album is the unique drumming style of Jontho, which hasn't changed much since Diabolical Age where it was first utilized.

The album won't hesitate for long and just kicks your ass with the first song. It's not much like anything the band has ever released but it clearly has its drive. All songs have one or more riffs that the listener is likely to get a taste for, some of them being imported from outside black metal. The most prominent example of the latter is the pre-verse riff of Necromantic Summoning Ritual, which would fit any power metal song. The first highlight of the album is the middle section of the fourth song (Divide et Impera), which goes back to the full-length In Nomine Satanas. The next outside influence can be heard in Dystocratic, the song starts out with a guitar solo with a style not to be expected it this genre; this is also the best song of this release. For its second half the album becomes even stronger with all songs having one or more great riffs.

Should you get this album? Before this was released my reply to this question would have been an automatic yes (we are talking about Ragnarok after all). While the album is quite enjoyable, it was their first release that was disappointing at the first listen. Give it time, your opinion about it might change as mine did and I'm not the type who loves previously hated albums.

Let madness hunt my mind
Let violence guide my hand
Embrace this insanity of mine
Release the demons trapped inside
Arson, murder, suffering
Raping, pillaging, butchering
Cravings are haunting me
My soul will feast on your despair

A vengeful state of mind
Evil incarnate in the flesh
Infested mindset plagued with scorn
Will make sure you are laid to rest
Oppressing, usurping, torturing
Extorting, infesting, pestering
Never turn the other cheek
Retaliate with tenfold strength


'A democratic society can never be a Satanic society. A dystocratic society is a Satanic society.'

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