Sahon – Chanting for the Fallen (Transcending Obscurity)Tuesday, 31st July 2018
Metal truly is a global entity for appeal, as the current act under inspection Sahon hail from South Korea, forming in 1999 and releasing five previous full-lengths plus an EP since 2002. Chanting for the Fallen as the sixth album happens to be their first in five years, and first for this scribe’s aural inspection. Curiosity abounds regarding influences and ability to translate their thrash platform on the international stage – and after a few spins, it’s a full assault attack where riff, mayhem, and steamrolling power serve as the main courses these eight tracks take.
Sprinkling in blast beat nuances or blackened tremolo guitar accents keeps Sahon on more of that Goatwhore/Skeletonwitch edge at times, but overall you can sense that second wave of Bay Area thrash and Teutonic burst in the forefront of the musical hooks and vigorous speed prevalent for “Faith of Savagery” and “Survive”. Vocals are of the screaming/rant in unison with the riff at hand variety – which could be a blessing or a curse depending on how you desire your thrash these days because when bassist Yong-ho decides to veer off the path during the groovier verses for “Condemnation”, it’s awkward and confusing. When the band take things down a notch for the bass forward, Motörhead-ish anthem “Born to Lose Live to Win”, it’s a spirited effort that seems like a natural fit for Sahon, locking into this double bass, punkish/thrash combination with maniacal vocals over the top. This is the type of neck whipping songwriting with sudden stop/start transformations that hurtles bodies side to side and off stages whenever possible. Don’t quite know what to make of the cover art as well – the animals holding guitars and other symbols that stray far away from anything combative, aggressive, or destructive which usually appears as the norm for this genre.
Deep divers of the genre may appreciate this most – as Sahon take Slayer/Dark Angel tendencies and mix in that death/blackened twist to things, giving Chanting for the Fallen a fighting chance against a sea of releases that are monotonous or too repetitive.