Norwegian black metal outfit Ragnarok may not be groundbreakers in the black metal genre, but they are a pretty talented band that releases quality albums and have shown a system of consistency over the years. With drummer Jontho being the sole original member left within the ranks of Ragnarok, the band has had a turnstile of members come and go through the years while still retaining that consistent sound.
Their latest effort, last year’s “Malediction,” is no different. While reminiscent of previous efforts, it is still a very solid album that black metal fans can enjoy. There is more of a technical edge to the music, and perhaps it sounds a little less abrasive to their previous work, but it is no doubt Ragnarok. They have a sense of no-frills, push the pedal to the medal black metal where the tempo rarely varies.
I think that the album starts off pretty good, but the true meat of the album comes in around the middle of the album with (Dolce et Decorum est) Pro Patria Mori and Dystocratic. The former shows a more technical side while the latter is more speed oriented. I really enjoy the tone and talents of guitarist Bolverk throughout the entire album. While “Malediction” is focused on the vocals, the guitar work creates the atmosphere and most black metal bands survive on the atmosphere that they present.
Overall, black metal fans should really get into Ragnarok’s “Malediction” and their previous work. I am still surprised to see how many black metal fans are not following Ragnarok.
Malediction Track Listing:
1. Blood of Saints
2. Demon in My View
3. Necromantic Summoning Ritual
4. Divide et Impera
5. (Dolce et Decorum est) Pro Patria Mori
7. Iron Cross â€“ Posthumous
8. The Elevenfold Seal
9. Fade Into Obscurity
10. Sword of Damocles
Jontho – Drums, Vocals (backing)
DezeptiCunt – Bass, Vocals (backing)
HansFyrste – Vocals
Bolverk – Guitars