Sjodogg - _Landscapes of Disease & Decadence_
by: Jackie Smit (4 out of 5)
It may be something in their water supply, or the fact that for most of the year it's too damn cold to leave the house, but in general I tend to find that unlike their counterparts across the rest of the globe, demos by Norwegian artists tend to be of a distinctly more consistent quality. Why this is remains a mystery, and it would be sheer folly to suddenly adopt some sort of nationalistic bias. Yet on the face of _Landscapes of Disease & Decadence_, there's no denying that the good citizens of the same country whose contribution to extreme music has played a major role in shaping its current incarnation most definitely still retain a knack for delivering a good tune. An ambitious double demo release, comprising Sjodogg's 2004 and 2005 promos, this is impeccably produced stuff, musically blending the despair of black metal's doomier moments and the harsh intensity of death metal into a mix that is both progressive and hugely atmospheric. Featuring members of Enthral, Crest of Darkness and The Flesh, the band boldly state that they have something significant to offer "fans of dark metal music around the world". A few spins of "The Asphyxiation" and "A Song of Plague" leave very little room to argue that.


(article published 29/1/2006)

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