Sahg - II
Regain Records
Doom Metal
9 songs (48:38)
Release year: 2008
Sahg, Regain Records
Reviewed by Dylan
Album of the month
It wasn’t until 2006 that I finally realized why Black Sabbath was so important. Aside from leaving us with mandatory albums like Paranoid and Masters of Reality, they made it possible for Sahg’s debut album to exist. Mixing Sabbath’s traditional, highly catchy brand of doom metal with a darker atmosphere, I was left in awe as I sat listening to songs like The Executioner Undead, The Black Passage, and Godless Faith. Each song possessed enough individuality to be on an EP, while simultaneously flowing the way that most concept albums should. When I first got word of II’s release date for this year, I began injecting, consuming, and inhaling every depressant I could find to calm myself down. To my surprise, the album did a little bit of that for me.

The rather simplistic cover art of both Sahg’s album reveals a lot about their atmosphere. I was dark, and elegant in it’s simplicity. II’s atmosphere is also well-represented by its lighter, more experimental art. However, the opening track, Ascent to Decadence, wouldn’t lead you to believe that. It’s a straightforward rocker with a main riff that feels similar, but not too similar to The Executioner Undead, which was from their first album. Luckily, Olav Iverson’s vocals have retained their trademark nasally tone that fits so well with the late 70s vibe the band pulls off so well. Echoes Ring Forever rocks just as hard, but has a more epic feel and features some of King’s best bass lines form the whole album.

From Conscious Sleep is the first sign that things have drifted towards the stratosphere. An almost atonal riff repeats over vocal chants and synth chords, but fails to go anywhere during its short duration. I get the feeling that the band was trying to create an eerie track to keep the listener’s attention, but I believe that the album would have been that much stronger if it was left off. After that hiccup, the rest of the album is well-balanced and manages to keep the listener wondering what will happen next. Iverson’s stellar Ozzy Osbourne impression carries what would otherwise be a boring track in Star-Crossed, while they mesh well with the trippy musicianship in Escape the Crimson Sun and Monomania. I still haven’t come to a decision as to which of the two latter tracks wins the Planet Caravan award. Pyromancer, Wicked Temptress, and By The Toll of the Bell follow in the vein of the first two tracks, and each have their own riff and melody that gives them a sense of individuality.

Olav Iverson and Thomas Tofthagen’s guitar riffs shimmer in the light of what metal was like before subgenres. Eerie acoustic passages, meaty riffs, and wah-drenched solos flying up and down the pentatonic scale are done with such class that the whole thing comes off as sounding like a worthy homage, rather than being dated. Sort of like a doomier Spiritual Beggars. The drums of Tor Bjellan lock with King’s grumbling, but loud bass to give each song a solid foundation. It’s obvious the band was going for a lighter atmosphere than what was present on I, but things are still quite dense. This one will take repeated listens to digest, but the patient will be rewarded once the desperate solo of Monomania finally fades out.

Note: Below is the video for "Pyromancer." In time the video may become outdated and fail to play.

Killing Songs :
Ascent to Decadence, Star Crossed, Pyromancer, Wicked Temptress, and Monomania.
Dylan quoted 81 / 100
Other albums by Sahg that we have reviewed:
Sahg - Sahg I reviewed by Alex and quoted 82 / 100
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