Ragnarok - Psychopathology (Agonia Records)

If the line-up remains stable they may return to old strengths
Release Date: 
25 Mar 2016 (All day)

The Member-carrousel of Ragnarok starts to twist and turn again. Jontho; founder of Ragnarok and only remaining original member, smashed his drumsticks in the corner and grabbed himself the microphone. The band’s drummer is now Malignant of Dauden fame and Bolverk is on Guitars. Alas, the man with whom I thought had the greatest Black Metal name of all time is no more…. DezeptiCunt.

With the lineup change Ragnarok attempt to make the common Malediction nonexistent and is going to set their sails for better waters. The new record is called Psychopathology and is the 8th Album of the Northmen. After a really short intro in Dominance & Submission the song starts out like a rabid maniac, and although strong; this is not satisfying as it becomes deathly predictable. Aside from this one blemish, Dominance & Submission is a generally solid album opener.

Rangnarok are dedicated throughout this album yet I hate and the title track Psychopathology; no matter how hard I try, they just won’t resonate with me. Gladly we got to the strongest part on Psychopathology; the short and heavy My Creator and Infernal Majesty… It’s not the fastest number but it is just enough to redeem themselves albeit for a while at least. Infernal Majesty in particular stays in mind; it takes some risks and breaks from the norm.

Sadly Psychopathology stagnates as the following songs here on out are just ‘ok’ - no song really out shines or disappoints. The new line up harmonizes well and Jontho´s new job on the mic is solid, if it stays stable they might return to old strength´s. Psychopathology has left me with mixed feelings; on one hand the record has enough of the standard staples you would expect and I’m not left hating it. On the other hand, after listening to it a couple more times, the only songs that stuck out to me were Infernal Majesty and My Creator. Not enough in my opinion.

For the style in General; it lacks. I miss the cold, anti human atmosphere Norwegian Black Metal is famous for. You might take this an a negative aspect but it really isn´t. Ragnarok’s Psychopathology proves to be a foot in the right direction compared to Malediction and I don’t feel that fans will be disappointed. Yet it doesn’t feel like it should. If you compare it to similar and standard Norwegian Black Metal releases it is slightly under the average. Like I said though - it has left me with mixed feelings that I can’t qualify.