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Wicked work of art - 85%

PazuzuZlave, November 25th, 2004

Dödheimsgárd took a significant step in black metal with this 16-minute EP. It contains an intro, 3 tracks and an outro and it is, as a whole, a very eerie creation. The intro “Oneiroscope” is very frightening, with sick “haunted-house-style” piano-playing, before it suddenly becomes the first real track “Traces of Reality”. Within the first seconds of this track, you realise it’s not your usual black metal you are listening to. It is very beautifully constructed, yet ugly at the same time. The guitars sound unusual compared to their previous releases, and they’ve aimed for unrestricted complexity this time. It’s very technical and dark, with the guitars being highlighted. At several occasions, the tempo speeds up, the piano and violin (!) enter again and the guitars just go crazy. It is, as mentioned before, very beautiful, and it really suits the song, which must have been very difficult to record. It’s over 7 minutes long, there are not many interludes, and it’s fast as hell. It’s one of the best tracks I’ve ever heard. “Symptom” is way more straightforward, but simply more of the same. “The Paramount Empire” sounds as if it was recorded elsewhere, because the sound completely changes here, and the vocals are horrible on it. It’s also very fast and complex, but simply not as good as the others and, therefore, drags the score down a bit. Then we’re left with the outro “Wrapped in plastic”, but it fails to impress, since the intro was so much better. Well, an outro isn’t supposed to impress you either, I think…
Czral handles the drumming on the EP, and he does a very good job at it. Blast beats here, blast beats there, and you cannot hear a single mistake.
This EP serves its purpose well, and although the third “normal” track is way out of league here, you should really check this out.