DØDSENGEL – DØDSENGEL EP (Terratur Possessions / Ván Records / Barghest)
The music on this release is superb but the value for money quotient is minimal. As Dødsengel is arguably the most essential Black Metal band in the universe right now, there was never any doubting how good these songs would be. They are – true to form – absolutely superb. But, seriously, what is the point of mini-albums?
I’ve never quite been able to get my head around the concept of releasing MCDs and MLPs – this is available in both formats – and the only conclusion I can draw is that they are a quick cash-grab. There has to be an economic reason behind these decisions. In fairness, at 28+ minutes, ‘Dødsengel’ is far from the worst offender. But it’s still only half an album and it’s not half price.
I assume that most people, like me, can’t nip into their nearest corner store and buy Black Metal CDs or records. Therefore, we are restricted to purchasing via mail order. Thus, mini-albums are prohibitively expensive – you still pay the same postage and packaging charge as for a full-length and the actual selling price is only a couple of Euro less, so overall we’re talking about a bad return on the listener’s investment. In these global recessionary times, this is unacceptable.
The music on ‘Dødsengel’ is magnificent and easily surpasses most other current releases in terms of quality if not quantity. Comparable to the stellar material on the band’s exceptional sophomore LP ‘Mirium Occultum’, these four songs are harsh, menacing, disturbing, eerie, epic and altogether inebriating examples of prime BM excellence, but I really think fans deserve to be presented with a full album’s worth of material rather than a succession of EPs. This is the band’s fourth EP in a year and I’ve purchased them all but it’s a fucking expensive hobby. The guts of twenty quid for four songs? Seriously, give me a break!
Great and all as Dødsengel is, the novelty factor of collecting a flurry of expensive underground releases soon wears off. I think they should stop messing around and release proper albums – a format that would do justice to the Norwegians’ brilliance.
[Unfortunately, the absolute maximum rating I can give this is 333. Mini-albums are a joke and labels (there are three involved here for some reason) should stop releasing them.]