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Pure Finnish Hatred - 75%

Perpetual_Winter, April 2nd, 2005

There is a soft spot in my heart for black metal in the house of Darkthrone. I have simply grown to love the atmosphere that minimalism sets. The press sheet on this album said, “The coldest black metal album since Darkthrone’s Under A Funeral Moon.” Well, I’d say that honor probably goes to the likes of their Finnish counterparts Clandestine Blazeor the now defunct USBM Judas Iscariot, but Sargeist does play some good black metal.

As with most minimalistic black metal releases the riffs are simple with only 2-4 different riffs per song, bass is nearly indiscernible with the thin production, and the drumming goes from a mid to fast pace blast to some rather punky beats (much like newer Darkthrone or newer Horna). What I feel makes this album a better listen than some of the minimalism out there is the tormented vocals (read a few of my reviews and you’ll know I like agonized screams). They may be mixed a little loud (Armagedda - Final War Approaching has the same problem), but its underground black true black metal so you don’t really expect much more.

One complaint I have about the album other than the mix is that some of the riffs strike me as kind of lame. One that really stood out is their use of a partial scale in the opening riff on Satanic Black Devotion. Also, I have to get a real kick out of them actually calling a song Black Fucking Murder (um… Nargarothanyone?). Overall, this album is a solid listen, but it’s far from essential. Personally, I’d pick it up for cheap or to support the great Moribund Records, but I’m not going to go terribly far out of my way.