Review Summary: Underrated, overlooked, under-appreciated. All terms that describe Ragnarok's second full-length album, Arising Realm.
Let me start off by saying that Ragnarok is the epitome of what the second-wave of Norwegian black metal was. You have everything you need. You got your Anti-Christian and Satanic lyrics and imagery, you have your corpse paint, you have your distorted tremolo picked guitars, your Satan vocals, just everything that you need to make an essential second-wave Norwegian black metal album. The only difference between Ragnarok's second full-length album, Arising Realm
, and other classic second-wave black metal albums such as Nattens Madrigal
and Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
is that this album didn't get nearly as much recognition or appreciation as albums like those even though it obviously should've. Like I mentioned, this album is a classic Norwegian second-wave back metal album at it's core and it seems as though people haven't taken the time to appreciate it.
Now when I said that the guitars were distorted, that doesn't mean that this album is badly produced at all. In fact, the production is perfect. Of course you're probably going to think the production sucks if you're not familiar with black metal, but if you are then you know that the "bad" production is a good thing in actuality. The guitars have that trademark black metal buzzsaw sound, while still having a decent amount of melody as well. Plenty of catchy and worthwile riffs will be displayed throughout this album. There is also some very well done keyboard playing on this album, most apparent in the intro, which is purely instrumental. The keyboards give the album a nice sense of melody while still keeping that intense black metal edge. Drumming is blast beats and double bass for the most part, something very common in black metal albums released around this time. Mostly well done and not too sloppy. Arising Realm
is a faster album, similar to bands like Marduk or early Immortal. So you should know that going into it.
If you haven't already guessed, the vocals are in classic black metal fashion. What I mean by that is all you're going to hear is Satanic devil shrieks from hell, and that is most definitely a good thing. They're performed by a man named Thyme, and while his vocals aren't really unique, they are extremely well-delivered and it's hard to really compare the sound of his voice to anybody else. His voice is on the higher side of the scale, but not Dani Filth high. It's also not as guttural as it is raspy. Pretty much just a classic black metal vocalist performing at a very high level, which is yet another positive aspect of this album. And obviously the lyrics are Anti-Christian. I mean it just wouldn't be the same if they weren't right?
Alright if you're still reading this review then you should know what to expect from Arising Realm
and I suggest you that you get on this album immediately. Like I mentioned earlier in the review, it is most definitely one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated albums from the Norwegian black metal scene. I mean I know people were interested in burning churches, killing people, and stabbing homosexual guys, but for once it shouldn't be about that and it should be about the quality of the music and Ragnarok released an extremely quality album in Arising Realm
. All of the notorious bands such as Mayhem and Burzum get all the credit, which I understand. I'll give credit where credit is due, but this album is just as good as anything those bands have done and it's a shame it doesn't get the type of recognition that they did.