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Album Review: A Umbra Omega by Dødheimsgard

Guest Reviewer: Matt Dickinson

Dødheimsgard referred to as “Norway’s premier experimental extremists” have put the finishing touches to their fifth album, A Umbra Omega. This is the first Dødheimsgard release since 2007, and returns the band to their original line-up.

This is an experimental journey, where there are no boundaries, songs are more like acts of a play than a traditional song – this isn’t something that you’ll find blasting out at your local metal night. The musicianship here is tight, raw and huge. This isn’t something you could just pick up and go to an individual song, it needs the whole record, as an immersive experience. I took a few spins to get a footing in here.

I’d never heard of Dødheimsgard until this found its way into my inbox, I don’t listen to much metal these days (not to say I don’t like it) but experimental black metal is rarely something I listen to. Yet there is something hugely captivating about this record and I still don’t know what. You can see that a lot of effort has gone in here to create something huge and that’s been done in a way that isn’t pretentious or self absorbed. This isn’t taking the idea of being progression as weird for the sake of weird, it’s doing something fairly arty but it’s doing it well.

If I had to sum this up succinctly it would be like this: A Umbra Omega is mad but brilliant, if someone told me I’d stick on some extreme experimental Norwegian album I’d have looked at them funny. It might not be something I keep returning to, but it has its own unique experience that if you can go into it with an open mind you will find new things every time you give it a go.

There’s no way I can say I have a stand out track here, it’s not that kind of album – all I can say is give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised like I was.

 

Guest Reviewer Rating 7.5/10

 

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