Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 7/25/2006
posted on 8/2006 By:
Formed by members of Manngard, Gorgoroth and Audrey Horne, Bergen, Norway’s Sahg are poised to become the next buzz band that people will get tired of hearing nothing but praise about, and with good reason. These guys kick shit around, man. There are a lot of stoner/doom bands out there who really aren’t doing anything of any noteworthy interest (but the few that are, are incredible) at the moment, which is a shame since the scene has a great deal of untapped life left in it, and Sahg are drawing creative waters from this reservoir by the gallon.
Sahg 1 is easily one of the very best debuts this year, and is also an album that rivals and overtakes many releases from veteran heavyweights. Two elements are to be credited for this: vibrancy, and groove. It’s really that fucking simple. Like a young Ozzy Osbourne leading a less-stoned Black Sabbath, the otherworldly voice of Olav Iversen floats among thickly rollicking grooves that breathe with vibrant, sometimes funky attitude. The mountains of huge riffs are lively without sounding like something that needs a lava lamp and a mirror ball hanging in your room to enjoy it, although the bong can remain optional and you’ll probably get off just fine either way.
The word ‘progressive’ gets used far too often these days, perhaps because so many acts are performing so many different hybrids of metal, but Sahg 1’s decidedly retro ambiance sounds anything but dated. The riffs are new and rousing, the pacing never gets too laborious during the more skull-crushingly slow sections, and the use of sound enhancements and effects don’t distract even slightly from the many waves of voluminous metal rhythms. You can bang your head to it, jump around and shake your ass to it, work on the car to it, surf the net to it, or just kick back, close your eyes, and be carried away by it. Anything. You can do just about anything and enjoy this album.
From the psychedelics of “Intro: Parade Macabre” which leads into the pulverizing, psilocybin-drenched excesses of “Repent”, to the Corrosion Of Conformity grit of “Rivers Running Dry”, the Supershine bounce of “Soul Exile”, the brilliant, intoxicated drawl of “Godless Faith” all the way to closing landslide “Black Passage” (along with the sweet bonus video for “Godless Faith”) Sahg 1 is a cohesive, entertaining listen from the get-go. I’d like to know what crack in the sky these guys fell out of that has provided us all with such a fresh take on a classic sound, and hopefully they’ll stick around for a long, long time.
Candlelight USA/ Regain Records are on one hell of a roll with their collaborative releases this year, and Sahg 1 may turn out to be a surprise feather in their cap. Immaculately produced, and sturdily performed, this takes everything great about stoner rock, wires it up, and gives it a shot of absinthe for good measure. If any of you are planning on attending one of the North American Celtic Frost gigs this year, you’d better plan on getting there early, or else you could very well end up kicking yourself in the ass so hard you’re crapping insoles and shoelaces for a couple days afterward for missing these guys. Sahg is an astounding new arrival to the metal scene, and one which is already leaving a strong impression on just about every ear they touch with their organic, exuberant sound. A striking debut.
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