Dodheimsgard - _Supervillain Outcast_
(Moonfog, 2007)
by: Yiannis Stefanis (8.5 out of 10)
I am not really sure if I generally agree with the way that the term avant-garde has been used by the music industry in describing bands that follow an unusual approach in composing their music. In the case of DHG (Dodheimsgard) however, I believe that one definitely has to make an exception, seeing as this Norwegian outfit always managed to musically be one step ahead of the average black metal band. DHG's roots may have indeed evolved within the strict framework of the early '90s Scandinavian black metal scene, but separatist tendencies appeared quite early in the band's career -- tendencies that reached the ultimate form of expression in the band's 1999 release _666 International_, and which are once again audible in their latest offering, _Supervillain Outcast_.

Eight years is a long time for any band to be away from the music scene, but in DHG's case it seems not only to have made no difference at all, but most importantly, it appears to have worked to the band's benefit. As with its predecessor, _Supervillain Outcast_ is a release whose strongest attribute is the unique coexistence of fast rhythmic guitar riffs and frantic intelligent drumming with some of the weirdest, yet most inspirational keyboard samples that one can hope to find in any extreme metal band. The result is a perfect mixture of elements of traditional black metal with modern-sounding death metal in the vein of Zyklon.

DHG's "bad" intentions are clear from the very beginning, with songs like "Vendetta Assassin" and "Horrorizon" easily standing out, mainly due to the massive guitar riffs that constitute the main body of their structure. That, of course, doesn't mean that there is a standard template that characterizes the structure of these fifteen songs. On the contrary, each and every composition develops into an array of different rhythmic structures that somehow manage not only to sound coherent, but also to create a very welcoming environment for those fans who will be willing to invest in them, and in doing so discover their most intimate secrets.

Fans of early '90s Scandinavian Black Metal may quite justifiably feel a stronger attraction to compositions like "Ghostforce Soul Constrictor" or "Supervillain Serum", but I fail to see how even they will manage to resist the charms of the groovy-sounding bass tune of "Apocalypticism", the atmospheric dirge of "All Is Not Self" or the Dream Theater-esque keyboard theme and the amazingly catchy refrain of "21st Century Devil", which provides the most fitting ending to a very inspiring and highly addictive release.

I don't know about you, but I am personally quite tired of all those bands who believe that a dictaphone quality recording of a bunch of boring, repetitive and soulless riffs is what represents the essence of black metal in the year 2007. DHG have been amongst the first bands to break these ridiculous rules, and have once again released a very mature and inspiring album which could easily become a reference point for many extreme metal bands in the years to come. All you really need to do is to invest in it.


(article published 27/3/2007)

5/25/2007 Y Stefanis Dodheimsgard: Experimental Musical Outcasts
5/19/1999 P Azevedo Dimmu Borgir / Dark Funeral / Dodheimsgard / Evenfall The Darkest Night of the Year
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