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Beautiful and Damned, indeed! - 90%

slb1995, July 12th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Necroshrine Records (Digipak)

Danish newcomers Slægt are on the rise in the world of metal, something which was initiated with this EP, ‘Beautiful and Damned’. A rather fitting title to the content on this disc, I must admit. On here are found three regular tracks and a shorter, but equally great, intermezzo.

Introducing the record is a drum fill and a fast-paced riff on the track ‘Move in Chaos’, and immediately noticeable is the progression from their debut album ‘Ildsvanger’. A less raw experience this time, and far better sounding.

The drums are brilliantly played by Adam Nielsen, and he is a master of his craft, never too flashy but keeps the listener's interest at all times with his fills, different pacings on the tracks. He succeeds in being the backbone of the tracks while still being brilliant. The riffs are amazing from the get go, Oscar J. Frederiksens vocals are rather fine as well, and they convey his lyrics excellently. The lyrics are of high quality because of Frederiksens command of the English language.

The highpoint of the album is definitely the guitars from the aforementioned astonishing riffs to the even better twin leads. The latter are of a quality comparable to, amongst others, Tribulation. Intricate melodies weave into each and ought to hypnotise the listener with their grandeur, and as such Slægt are able to combine the harshness of the black metal in their sound with the 70’s heavy rock and 80’s twin guitars seamlessly. This is especially showcased in the closer of the album, the title track in which the leads are the common thread, and they are composed in such a way that they progress differently throughout the track. The album ends on the highest possible point.

‘Church of the Night’, the intermezzo mentioned in the beginning is track three and leaves the listener to catch their breath, while being beautiful in its own right. The piano and acoustic guitars makes it obvious to mention similar tracks on Dissection’s ‘The Somberlain’.

In conclusion Slægt has released a more than worthy EP which should leave the listener hungry for more, such as Slægt's newly released full length 'Domus Mysterium'. A highly recommended album from one of the most interesting bands in the world.

Now THIS is what you call progress. - 98%

raspberrysoda, December 19th, 2015

In a matter of less than a year, Slaegt have shifted their style from a very primitive second wave black metal into this. And what is this?

First of all, the lyrics are in English, which aren't broken like the English lyrics of other black metal bands that move away from their home language- and are actually pretty impressive. The second, and the most notable too, is the change in style of their music. It is a very untypical kind of black/thrash, which the band calls "black heavy metal" or just "Slaegt metal"- with the second term more fitting to the music.

The songs themselves have a more professional and polished sound than the songs in their debut LP. The riffs aren't the unoriginal tremolo riffs anymore, but a more galloping type of thrash riffs with some occasional black metal quasi-tremolo riffs (which are not that bad actually) and have a more heavy feeling to them. They are accompanied by an audible bass (this time) and some very good drumming which is now more reminiscent of thrash and traditional heavy metal than BM. There are three songs that are featured in the EP- all of them having a very epic feeling and show the development in the band's musicianship. The production in this release isn't the muddy wannabe-second-wave production that was featured in their debut, but grim and crystal-clear- which accentuates the music and amplifies its overall atmosphere.

The atmosphere is described in the EP's title: Beautiful and Damned. It has a more destructive feeling than its proceeder, but is more progressive, melancholic and darker- a thing always welcome in music of this kind. A great example for this is the side B of the EP: it has a haunting acoustic instrumental, and then a straightforward dark black/thrash mayhem. Very recommended.