Semargl - Satanogenesis - 2006 - Deathgasm Records
1. Graceful Infection by Evil 2. Cult of the Crucified 3. Blessing of Insanity 4. Protonic Zone of Hell 5. The Funeral of a Beast 6. Maxima Satan 7. Devil In Me 8. Mechanical Storm 9. Prayer Of Purifying 10. Esthetical Murder 11. A Little Saint Bitch 12. Let the Heavens Burn 13. Copulation with Mechanism
In 2005, the Ukranian group Semargl released their debut, ‘Attack on God’. As the title suggested, it was an aggressive album, lyrically antagonistic and a challenge to standard genre definitions. Its core identity of black metal was highlighted with a number of interwoven styles, including death metal, Romantic solo piano, and power electronics, each prudently utilized within the group’s adequate songwriting abilities. Especially for a first release, it presented a strong, flexible dynamic and set a high standard for future albums to emulate.
‘Satanogenesis’ is the group’s second album, released only fourteen months after ‘Attack on God’. Traditionally, the appearance of a follow-up album that quickly indicates a particularly inspiring creative streak on the artists’ part, but this album might be performed by an entirely different band for all the resemblance (both in style and quality) it bears to their debut release. Where ‘Attack on God’ was richly textured, ‘Satanogenesis’ is shallow and repetitive; where the former was structurally complex, the latter is rehashed and wasteful. In sum: the monotony of these tracks would be droning enough on its own—the impression is twice as disappointing coming on the heels of ‘Attack on God’.
‘Satanogenesis’, on its own, might be a moderately successful straightforward black metal effort somewhat in the vein of Craft if it were not for the vocals, which have lost nearly all their erstwhile flair and assertion. For the entire album, they maintain a half-whisper, half-growl that communicates absolutely no passion to speak of. Originally rather soft, they have been turned up in the mix to compensate, resulting in overly harsh hissing of the consonants (‘s’, ‘t’, etc.) that distracts from what few decent riffs there are.
The root of Semargl’s ills can be, hypothetically, traced back to the departure of two key members. Morthvarg and Shamala, lead guitars and keyboards, respectively, combined to create the lush diversity of styles that so galvanized ‘Attack on God’, and that are so absent here on ‘Satanogenesis’. Barring an unlikely reunion, it appears as though Semargl’s finest hour was also their first, passed in regrettable obscurity.
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