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Saħħar > Pusseduti bil​-​Ħażen > Reviews
Saħħar - Pusseduti bil​-​Ħażen

Frosty Maltese Cult - 78%

TheStormIRide, December 2nd, 2014
Written based on this version: 2014, Digital, Independent

Sahhar is the solo black metal project of Marton Saliba, a multi-instrumentalist based in Pieta, Malta. The project has been active since 2006 and boasts a fairly full discography with a demo, split, two EP's and two full lengths currently released. Pusseduti bil-Hażen is one of the band's EP's, released on Halloween 2014. Featuring three tracks, this sixteen minute EP is a quick run through the band's sound, which, aside from the sprawling and monolithic moments during the ending track, is a burst of breakneck paced black metal that calls to mind a mix of melodic second wave black metal and blasting Ross Bay Cult styled black/death metal.

Pusseduti bil-Hażen begins with two short, blasting tracks in “Mgħaffġin” and “The Cross and the Hammer”. Brimming with blasting percussion and cold trem riffing, both tracks are ferocious yet tipped with a layer of frost. The guitar tone is thin and raw, yet the riffing rather inventive, flawlessly transitioning from second wave flavored trem picking into a more abrasive yet rollicking fusion of chunky power chords with minor key melodies fitted throughout. This is juxtaposed alongside abrasive and loud percussion, which blasts along furiously with barley a pause. It's destructive and frenetic, with the blazing trem riffs and sweltering growls and screams dragging you through a swath of blackened histrionics.

It's a rather exhausting start to the album, but it sets the tone quite nicely for the EP's centerpiece, the sprawling nine minute closing track, “Id-Demm ta' Dnubieti iċarċar ħdejn id-Dwieli”. The track takes the same basic formula of abrasive black metal and melodic trem picking and tweaks the songwriting. Rather than aiming to blast and destroy, the track slowly builds by way of pacing chord progressions and tempered drumming, culminating at a peak of frosty, wind swept trem patterns similar to early Immortal. Sahhar throws the brakes on and settles into moments of serene quietude, with marching percussion and staccato power chords ringing to clear the air before delving back into mountainous, black metal.

The music is a mix of abrasive, blackened death metal and wind swept second wave black metal. Despite its brevity, Pusseduti bil-Hażen shows Sahhar as a destructive force in the Maltese metal scene. The songwriting is solid, but there seems to be a disconnect between the two shorter tracks and the long player. Perhaps a marrying of the cold and epic style with the dissonant blasting could prove an even more destructive power. Regardless, fans of Black Witchery and Blasphemy who enjoy the cold winds and trem-laden melodies of the Scandinavian second wave should find plenty to dig into here.