Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, February 5, 2016

Ragnarok - Psychopathology

There are black metal album titles and there are black metal album titles if you know what I mean, and to extend what is an already very shaky analogy, Psychopathology is one of those black metal albums titles. The best part though - is that every second of Ragnarok's latest release lives up to its name. Blazing froward with a wonderfully saturated sound, wide open guitars and tight drums punching you in the gut Psychopathology is more than just another black metal record - it represents an exciting fusion of ideas and a step forward for the band.

I mean - yes, this is a black metal album through and through, but there are more than a few death metal moments, and every once in a while you really luck out and get a viking metal riff. I'm not saying the black metal parts are bad - rather, the become better when enhanced with the subtle addition of other genres. There is something wonderfully bombastic about this record too - in particular the title track is an absolute crusher - the vocal lines feel almost torn from the listener and kind of push towards something greater than anything I hav faced before - and I can't help but to fall in love.

Though Ragnarok are using some fairly traditional ideas they manage to execute in a way that is distinctly their own. Psychopathology gives off a very distinct overall vibe and the careening drums, and violent vocals stand as a sort of next chapter in the history of black metal. The raw energy behind the music is delectable, but it is carefully cultivated such that the end result of the record is one of beauty. Psychopathology goes beyond blackened death metal and instead stands as the sort of album that beats your skull into the ground and makes you wonder why you even bothered to exist in the first place.

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