Listen To A Brand New Dødheimsgard Song, ‘Aphelion Void’

By on 16 February 2015

Dodheimsgard - LEAD NEWS IMAGE

After seven long years of silence, Norwegian black metal mavericks Dødheimsgard have finally returned from their wilderness to grant us a new album – but this being Dødheimsgard, things aren’t exactly straight-forward. José Carlos Santos caught up with Yusaf “Vicotnik” Parvez to find out more, so hit play to check out the band’s new song ‘Aphelion Void’ below and then read on…

Over the course of a statement in May 2013, at the time the first sign of life from Dødheimsgard in quite a while, guitarist and main man Yusaf “Vicotnik” Parvez totally nailed the perfect short description for this most singular of bands: “DHG is a very circumstantial band,” he mentioned almost casually, but that clearly defines the elusive, almost ghostly shift between presence and absence the band has presented in their 21 years of existence. Always dropping tremendous boundary-shattering albums – since the legendary ‘666 International’, at a rhythm of one every eight years – but always disappearing from view and resurfacing years later usually with a different line-up, they seem to be a momentary result of a miraculous, blink-and-you’ve-missed-it planetary alignment. Well, it seems the cosmos has played along once more, and eight years after ‘Supervillain Outcast’, Dødheimsgard have announced ‘A Umbra Omega’, their new full-length to be released by Peaceville on March 16th.

Naturally, the prolonged absence is the first item on the agenda when we bumped into Vicotnik himself recently, and we asked him how much of the aforementioned statement’s list of reasons for inactivity (“Mental institutions, jail time, forced therapy, drugs, fistfights, anger, regret, more therapy”) are actually true.

“There’s some truth to the statement, but of course some of it is written with some glint in the eye,” the verbose musician says with, well, a glint in the eye once again. “I find it more interesting to give people something that is more in the vein of what we do with our albums instead of something like ‘hey guys! We’re back in the studio scratching our balls’.”

Okay, so we know ‘A Umbra Omega’ won’t feature the background sounds of frantic ball-scratching. What can we expect, then?

“If I had to explain the album in my own terms, it would be so abstract that no one would understand what I was talking about, so I’ll keep it simple,” he starts, and we thank him for that. “I’d say that it’s basically a homage to all our career. It has some of the old school black metal elements of the early ’90s, then it travels throughout our career, and also presents something new at the top, something that’s slightly different from all that we’ve done, and that’s the total package.”
But it was substance, and not style, that ruled the guitarist’s writing hand throughout the whole process. “For me personally, this album is more about a specific emotion than a specific style,” he ponders. “I never thought of making a bunch of riffs that sounded like this or a bunch of riffs that sounded like that, I was searching for a particular feeling in all of them, and that’s the binding point for this album. When it’s fast and ferocious, or slow and with acoustic guitars, or when there’s a bit of electronics, I think everything has basically the same melancholic underlining to it, that ties it all together.”

Also, essentially, Aldrahn is back. We knew the original vocalist was back in the band already, but it’s comforting to know that two years later that bit hasn’t changed with different circumstances.

“It’s good to get your buddy back, to have someone who shares that whole lineage,” Vicotnik says of his bandmate. “It’s sad when you’re on the tour bus and you start saying ‘do you remember…’ and then go ‘ah, you don’t, you weren’t there’. It’s good to have the guy back, we share that history, and he’s into all aspects of the band because he’s been there, his mind has been in tune with it always.” One thing that has changed, however, is the plan to release two albums in quick succession.

“It’s back to the circumstantial band thing,” the guitarist laughs. “From that statement, there’s only two guys left, me and the drummer. Getting new blood in changed the plans. But we did a sort of in-between version of the idea. I made the album longer than usual, almost 70 minutes long, and incorporated a lot of the ideas of that imagined second album. Also scrapped a few things that would have been on the next album, but some part of that album number two will probably live on for the next album.”

Which will appear sometime around 2023, correct?

“Hopefully not,” he smiles sharply. “We decided that we’re getting older, so to have a good ten-year run now would be nice. Good productive years. We’ve had twenty unproductive years, so we can have ten good ones now. I think we’ll have a more permanent base of members now too. At least me and Aldrahn are pretty secure that we’re going to do this for the duration it takes, and the other guys seem to be in it for the long run too, so I don’t have to start everything from scratch every time and I also don’t have to carry it all on my own, we can open a few more doors for creativity.”

‘A Umbra Omega’ is due out on March 16th via Peaceville and is available to pre-order here

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