Friday, January 4, 2013


Dødheimsgard - Mørk Skog
Kongeriket Norge Front Record, 2005
Genre: Black Metal

1. Jesu Blod
2. Nar Vi har Dolket Guds Vjerte
3. Starrave, Depths and Chained
4. En Krig u Seire

This little Vinyl release is basically the original demo put out in 1993, though their demos were just called “Promo 1993” and “Promo 1994”.  So for those fans that miss the older Black Metal days of Dødheimsgard you get a rare chance to revisit them with this release.  Unfortunately it’s limited to 300 copies and it’s also on Vinyl, which probably limits the ability to listen to this by the greater population even more.  That was probably the entire point though.  So for those who really despise the newer more experimental direction of Dødheimsgard you get to revisit their glory days with this.

Here’s the part I kind of don’t get, the first track is from “Promo 1994” and the others are from “Promo 1993,” but the production on the tracks from “Promo 1993” are far superior to that of “Jesu Blod.”  Usually recording quality increases with future releases, it doesn’t get drastically worse.  I mean, it’s a huge difference.  You can barely make out anything in “Jesu Blod” almost to the point where I wish it wasn’t even included, not to mention it’s the very first track.  This really doesn’t give the listener a very good initial impression and it even seems to cut off rather abruptly like the person doing the sound transfer just cut it off.  I don’t really know, but I was not happy with the “Jesu Blod” aspect of this.  However, “Nar vi Har Dolket Guds Hjerte” kicks in and things are looking up considerably.  First bonus is the fact that the production is quite superior and you can see exactly why Dødheimsgard was picked up by a record label immediately!  Not that you should expect pristine production, of course, nor do I want it, after all it is older Black Metal and it is a demo.  This is back when Aldrahn did vocals and guitar, Fenriz played bass and Vicotnik played the drums, so the line-up was quite different from what it ended up being in the future.  Dødheimsgard didn’t really sound like any other Black Metal bands at this time, I guess you could find the general presentation of Gorgoroth, Immortal, Darkthrone and Mayhem present in the sound, as you would any Black Metal band, but Dødheimsgard always had their own interestingly twisted way on things.  While structure wise you could likely point to Immortal or Gorgoroth on some levels, but the atmosphere is totally different here.  Dødheimsgard is even a degree more aggressive than the others in some ways too, somewhat like Immortal in that way.  That would become even more obvious in the later years when they would get strikingly more experimental.  I would even venture to say that upon hearing this demo that the second wave of Black Metal in the late 90’s might have drawn more influence from these guys than one would normally think.  A lot of material I hear currently and see as generic and standard, sounds quite a bit like this.  Unfortunately they just don’t have the same feel as Dødheimsgard did.  I guess we won’t be seeing that feel again for a long time.

In the end this is a nice little collector’s item to have.  It’s professionally pressed, so it’s not like other unofficial releases that you would normally see for demo re-pressings.  Again, if you’re not into vinyl your only hope of hearing this is probably via mp3 if someone rips their vinyl or original demo tape to the computer.  I know I ripped my copy to mp3 so I didn’t have to listen to the vinyl over and over again and wear it out.  If you’re a collector I do recommend this.

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