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Black metal has sadly turned into a rather monotonous genre over the years, with countless bands that seem to be more concerned with corpse-paint than with music. It’s a relief to find this is not the case with everyone, and Ragnarok is one such exception with this tremendous offering.
“Blackdoor Miracle” starts eerily with an instrumental intro that immediately sets the tone for things to come on the album. After this, there is no calm until the last track fades out. This is a very heavy album, with all that I love about black metal, well-written and innovative. “Blackdoor Miracle” is an album in the vein of early Satyricon, with excellent variation between dark and melodic. The guitars contain many elements of general BM with tremolo picking and aggressive riffs, but borrow from other genres as well. This makes for an interesting sound with intriguing songwriting and structures. Bass is sadly an instrument that is always neglected in black metal, and it’s almost inaudible here. The drums follow the black metal formula with immensely quick blasts and aggressive double-bass. The tuning is distinct, but not intrusive or overbearing, it compliments the sound of the album well.
Ragnarok does not rely on any symphonics to enhance composition or atmosphere, this is purely guitar-driven music. The melodic sections do, however, still make it an epic album, with incredible songs and many memorable moments. Ragnarok deserves mention as an excellent BM band, and yet “Blackdoor Miracle” is not a widely known or recognized album. This is unfortunate, since this album will surely appeal to any black metal fan with its epic sound and decent production.
“Blackdoor Miracle” is a brilliant album that reminded me why I started listening to BM in the first place. Ragnarok is a class act, and these furious shrieks are bound to hit home with many fans of extreme metal. The vocals, along with the other instruments, are well-executed and there are numerous standout tracks on the album. “Blackdoor Miracle” is definitely worth getting your hands on.
All the tracks are brilliant with few letdowns, but “Murder” and “Heir of Darkness” stand out from the rest. “Blackdoor Miracle” is not an album that ventures far outside the boundaries of its genre. However, while not experimenting with the formula of BM, this still manages to be a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Recommended.
When talking about Black Metal people often fail to reserve a mention for Ragnarok who have been around for quite a long time now and are clearly experts at the art of creating and performing Black Metal. They may follow the stereotype of wearing corpse paint etc. but nothing wrong in that.
They may be considered a more coherent version of Emperor with that characteristic "undercurrent" of blastbeats and rythms quite often similar to death metal. Yet they certainly can't be called rip-offs. Thats the last thing they are. Ragnarok has it's own unique easy to recognise style. This album epitomises this fact.
It features complex song structures which hits us a little better than the previous album In Nomine Satanas. These songs do seem sloppy in certain sections but overall it is very tight and obviously this album was worked upon a lot by the band. The new vocalist Hoest from fellow Norweigan Black metallers Taake adds a new aspect that this band seemed to lack. The guitars are extremely catchy and well performed and they are the first aspect of this album that one notices. We actually have some audible bass which is well performed on the whole. The drums are absolutely out of this world. Jontho has amazing talent and brings the whole song alive with his complex yet tasteful drum patterns. He usually performs typical black-metal incessant drumming but there is the occasional thrash-styled tempo change and a blast beat or two. The production is extremely good giving the album the obligatory raw black metal feeling along with very tight musical standards. All the instruments are given the perfect decibel level especially noticable in the title track. Some people may complain that this album lacks in "atmosphere" but I personally feel that this is not a detriment to this album in any way.
I don't want to do a song-by-song but still some songs deserve a mention.The first three songs Preludium, Heir of Darkness and Recreation of the Angel don't do much for me (actually they are quite good but they're nothing like what is to come). Rites of Geburah is the first example you get of this bands real talent. Right after that are the best songs of the album one after the other. The title track is THE BEST song of the album and nobody can dislike it. This features a monster riff section in the middle with a cool shotgun effect before it. The lyrics are also quite good if you can understand them. Murder is next with a thrash-styled basic riff around which the sng revolves. Extremely catchy and is bound to be an instant favourite.
Next up is Kneel. This song often fails to get the special mention it deserves. Standard Ragnarok black metal structure here but the melody is just so fucking cool....I could listen to this song at least 15 times on end without getting bored. Bless Thee for Granting Me Pain is well acknowledged and deservingly so. It features most old school type of riffing and structure and if you like stuff like Burzum and early Dimmu then you are bound to like this. Here we also get a taste of the skill of the bass player. Journey from Life is the last *great* song on this album with another fucking cool and captivating melody (they are very capable of producing such stuff). Nocturnal Truths is similar to Recreation of the Angel but is slightly better than it. It's War is a rerecording of a song i never really liked anyway so not much to say there.
Overall this is a top-notch excellent and under-rated black metal album produced bty a top-notch excellent and under-rated band. Highly recommended. Get this if you like no-nonsense all out (maybe slightly unoriginal) ruthless Black metal. It wouldn't stand up in front of the old classics but has a lot of merit of it's own.
I'm really happy I found out about this band, because this albums kicks ass!
This is one of my favorite releases of 2004, so far that is. I'm really glad
that Jontho is doing drums for this album, he's very good! He follows the pace
of the songs mostly, making excellent use of cymbol crashes, tinks and other sounds. Good thing they didn't record the double bass to high because he uses them a lot, almost as much as Hellhammer does on Chimera, awesome stamina! Jontho is an extemely technical drummer and I think more drummers need to be like him.
Hoest uses a high pitched vocal style which might bother some people, but
I think it fits in well; also he probably has the lamest picture ever shown
in a booklet, ignore it at every moment possible. There's not much to say about him except that he's good. The lyrics are mostly written by Espen except Blackdoor Miracle, Murder, and Kneel. Both people write good lyrics; I like Espens a little bit more though.
I'm not sure who writes most of the guitars it just says Ragnarok writes the music, but who cares, It's so fucking awesome! The music is so good on every song it just blows me away really, I haven't heard music like this on many Black Metal albums. Truly awesome Highlights of this album are: Rites of Geburah, Blackdoor Miracle, Murder, Bless Thee for Granting me Pain, and Journey From Life.