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Sahg - Sahg I - 2006 - Regain Records

Track Listing
1. Intro: Parade Macabre
2. Repent
3. The Executioner Undead
4. The Alchemist
5. Rivers Running Dry
6. Whisper of Abaddon
7. Godless Faith
8. Soul Exile
9. Boundless Demise
10. Black Passage
The genre of ‘doom metal’ is an extremely relative term. The vastly separated camps of Candlemass, Catacombs, Shape of Despair, Aarni, Black Sabbath, and Solitude Aeturnus all fall under its wide mantle. Therefore, when a band is referred to as such, regardless of whether it is by the band themselves, their label, or their fans, it must always be taken with a grain of salt. Or two.

The most recent roll of the doom dice to come this way is Sahg, the new group from Candlelight featuring one of Metal’s busiest men-- King (ov Hell), who has also appeared on Gorgoroth, Jotunspor, and Audrey Horne albums all in the past twelve months; what’s more, he is part of the upcoming collaboration with Abbath of Immortal called simply ‘I’. The rest of the line-up, too, is worthy of mention as well; drummer Einar Selvik also appeared in Gorgoroth for a time, guitarist/vocalist Olav Iversen hails from Manngard, and guitarist Thomas Tofthagen joins Tom “King” Visnes in Audrey Horne. So, has this prodigious workload thinned the creative richness of these busy Norwegians? If Sahg is any indication, absolutely not.

‘Sahg I’ is as solid a sludge-covered, hard rockin’, bluesy an album the metal scene has encountered in quite some time. Sahg play with the age-old feel captured by the classic Black Sabbath, the mighty swells of Yob, and a modern flare similar to The Sword, Krux, or Electric Wizard. With one of the crunchiest, most organic and straight-up heavy production jobs of the year, each track grooves instantaneously.

Sahg is not afraid of using conventional riff technique, but neither are they constrained by it. ‘Sahg I’ resonates with familiarity, the sort that warms the rocker within, and at the same time adds to the mixture through tasteful, conservative originality: the ambience and harmonic scales setting a tranquil tone at the album’s outset, the acoustic interlude towards the end. For all its simplicity, ‘Sahg I’ is a very well constructed and carefully crafted piece of work, and this attentive nature shows through in its consistent energy and presence.

If there is any issue to be had with Sahg, it is vocalist Olav. He is the vast majority of the time soulful and inventive, possessing an honest and clear voice made for rock music. But there are moments, especially the track ‘Boundless Demise’ (which is inconveniently the ‘single’ released thus far and the only mediocre track on the album), where he sounds uncomfortably similar to Lenny Kravitz.

This is rare, though, and a minor blemish upon an otherwise grand opening.

Whatever the name for this new wave of music Sahg play—rock, doom, heavy/stoner metal, sludge—the bottom line is that it’s simply great music, and that Sahg have emerged to lead the vanguard forward.



--Etiam 09.29.05

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SAHG
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
IISahg
2008
Etiam8/8/2008
Sahg ISahg
2006
Etiam10/13/2006


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