Sargeist - Let the Devil In
Moribund Cult
Black Metal
10 songs (46:45)
Release year: 2010
Sargeist, Moribund Cult
Reviewed by Tony
Album of the year

Raise your hand proudly if you have never said anything negative about Finnish Black Metal. We're all guilty of chastising the bastard sons of Scandinavian Black Metal. Norway gets far more credit (and deservedly so), Sweden has built up momentum through Dissection and now lives on through titans Watain. Even the Ukraine is emerging as a more well regarded Black Metal nation. Drudkh, Hate Forest, Astrofaes, Lucifigum, Kroda, and others are household names for those willing to give them a chance. But we all frown upon Finland. Pathfinders Beherit have not gotten their due from me, there are those of us who insult Satanic Warmaster solely based on the musicians stage name, and of course many of you were willing to banish this act, Sargeist, the great project of Finnish Black Metal veteran Shatraug, as a simple Darkthrone clone.

Admittedly, 88 / 100 was rather high for Satanic Black Devotion, given its void in production value and such. But this, this titanic effort Shatraug and company have brought from the depths of Hell could very easily vault Sargeist into the player of everyone here on MR. Don't believe me? Give it a shot. This shatters every negative premonition anyone would have about this new Sargeist album. Shatraug of course is a true stalwart of the scene. Horna have released many a valuable record, along with a fantastic split with Behexen, another wonderful Finnish band. After Satanic Warmaster ditched the Nazi look and really released a powerful album, the stage was set. One that brought Finnish Black Metal into a positive limelight just in time for Sargeist to burst onto the scene with this phenomenal album.

And why does Let the Devil In deserve such praise? And why exactly does it surpass anything Sargiest have ever done? Because it improves on EVERYTHING. The production was a true weakness on pretty much all of their albums. My other favorite album from Sargeist is Satanic Black Devotion, a record which I absolutely loved but many found my score overrated. Let the Devil In completely shatters any previous achievement by Sargeist.

Of course, Let the Devil In begins with one of the finest tracks in their discography, Empire of Suffering. Not only does the album immediately display their best production they have ever had, but there is a significantly better guitar sound, with their best riffs to boot. The vocals sound better and fuller than they ever have. There is also a very catchy chorus that provides a beautiful change of pace from the blast beating riffs and consistent attack. Of course, slowing down the choruses are a trademark of Sargeist, and while much of the structure of their songwriting remains the same, the songs are so much better in every which way. There is a semblance of beauty and melody that Sargeist never truly captured in their wholly misanthropic discography.

While most songs bear some sort of similarity on, Let the Devil In Sargeist could never achieve the "wall of sound" that the top shelf Black Metal acts could accomplish. This time around, the shoddy production is blown away as the guitars create a tsunami of minor chords and thirds. What is most excellent about the strings of Sargeist are the two tracks utilized in different roles in each track. Instead of just two simplistic uniform riff tracks, one plays the base layer of the wall while the other twists and bends, weaving a beautiful and dark melody which intertwines itself around all of the other instruments.

All the way through each track, including the great title track, Sargeist rip their way through, carving a swath with their improvement. This truly deserves the accolades given. This has been a big year for Finnish Black Metal. Let's just hope they "Finnish" the year strong.

Killing Songs :
Tony quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Sargeist that we have reviewed:
Sargeist - Death Veneration reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Sargeist - Unbound reviewed by Alex and quoted 86 / 100
Sargeist - Feeding the Crawling Shadows reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Sargeist - The Rebirth of a Cursed Existence reviewed by Jared and quoted no quote
Sargeist - Satanic Black Devotion reviewed by Tony and quoted 88 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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