Sahg - Sahg I
Stoner/doom metal
10 songs (48'26")
Release year: 2006
Sahg, Candlelight
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

One of our newcomer reviewers, Dylan, recently brought up the fact how he was impressed with this unknown entity called Sahg and would not mind hearing more music in this style. At the same time, one of our dinosaurs, Marty, felt Sahg taking him back to his metal shaping years given the fact that he even plays in a Black Sabbath cover band. What an interesting, even if not unique, intersection of ideas – bring out the old seminal metal sound and add modern groove. I am late reviewing this, but maybe this review will help others like Dylan to discover more of Sahg and what it stands for.

King ov Hell (Tom Cato Visnes) leaving Gorgoroth infuriated Infernus and probably did not sit well with the black metal crowd. On the other hand, the former joining forces with other notable Norwegian musicians from Audrey Horne and Manngard to create Sahg is going to do very well for the proliferation and reincarnation of the stoner tinged doom metal originated by Black Sabbath and recently pushed on forward by the likes of Electric Wizard.

Sahg I is full of songs with fuzzy, yet heavy, riffs creating the sense of mystery and mushrooms borne atmosphere. Such guitar distortion is always accompanied by a steady rhythmic groove (Godless Faith), modern heaviness and production sound effects (Repent). Repent and The Executioner Undead do a great job of planting the listener in the 70s for him/her to never be able to leave. This album ranges from subliminal (The Alchemist, especially due to subtle keyboards touches) to blaring and anthem-like (Soul Exile). While guitars are soul searching and wondering, drumming is super steady (The Alchemist even has a shaker percussion in it) and every bass guitar string pull or pluck is felt (The Alchemist, Soul Exile). To add to guitars histrionics, solos on Sahg I are protracted and going places. They can sob and squeal (The Executioner Undead) or have an out-of-nowhere tubed sound (Rivers Running Dry). Olav Iversen’s voice is made to be very much Ozzy-like with all the aforementioned effects down to the weepy feel and vibrato. He cuts through the acid-induced fog entering the subconscious completing the mid 70s era feel. Sahg, being not the first to be involved in Sabbath worship, I like their execution and song focus a lot more than Sheavy.

I get a total “second coming” of Paranoid sensation while listening to The Executioner Undead and Soul Exile, and that is a good thing. Black Passage brings out Children of the Grave with its double bass, rolling snare and mid-paced tremolo. Rivers Running Dry is, on the other hand, a quick nod to a rougher Pentagram. Reminisce, rock and groove along – this is what Sahg I is all about.

I would not mind priceless acoustic interlude Whisper of Abaddon and hidden Spanish instrumental at the end of Black Passage to be expanded upon, but I hope naming the album Sahg I is a sign of things to come. Both young and old metal fans are in need of Sahg II and Sahg III.

Killing Songs :
Repent, The Executioner Undead, Soul Exile, Black Passage
Alex quoted 82 / 100
Dylan quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Sahg that we have reviewed:
Sahg - II reviewed by Dylan and quoted 81 / 100
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