Returning after 4 years of no releases, today we have Norway’s Ragnarok and their latest opus of darkness titled “Psychopathology”. Featuring 49-minutes of soul crushing Black Metal, the band shows no signs of slowing down and manages to deliver one hell of a release from start to finish. Further refining their traditional Norwegian Black Metal sound, the band is ready to steamroll the competition with incisive riffs and sheer brutality.
Delivering the first blow with the monster opener “Dominance & Submission”, the band punishes the listener with crushing riffs and very elaborate drums. The band changed its configuration and now the sole remaining founding member, Jontho, handles the vocals, shifting the drumming duties to Malignant. With this little change, the band’s sound is a bit more dynamic, allowing tracks like “Psychopathology” and “My Creator” to be quite crafty and enjoyable.
With a very traditional sound, pieces like “Infernal Majesty” are designed to please any fans of true Norwegian Black Metal, sounding similar to outfits like Gorgoroth and even Taake. We prefer songs that have melodic passages, perfect to headbang, like the demoralizing “Into the Abyss” and the mellowness of “Blood”. These songs show the band’s skill and experience, by delivering heavy pieces in more melodic contexts.
As the album closes with another BM anthem in “Where Dreams Go to Die”, the band clearly demonstrates that they are one of the premier Norwegian Black Metal bands in the scene. Paired with a crystal clear production, “Psychopathology” is a very intense BM release that any fan of the genre should enjoy. Only getting better with time, Ragnarok has managed to keep their quality musical output over the years, and this album is perfect testament to that.
Label: Agonia Records
Release: March 25th, 2016
Genre: Black Metal