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No Miracle, but Black Indeed - 83%

XuL_Excelsi, June 3rd, 2010

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.