Saille – Eldritch (Code666)

Tuesday, 4th November 2014
Rating: 6.5/10

The pronunciation is “sahl-yeh,” not like “Sally,” which is a girl’s name. (Always with the names…) Saille is a Belgian quintet who has been kicking around since 2009, playing a linear, extreme-or-nothing brand of Euro black metal. They’re one of those extreme metal bands who put extremity before everything else – there isn’t much texture or nuance to the band’s songs, which creates several issues across Eldritch, their third album.

The closest reference point (to these ears) would be Sweden’s Naglfar, who once had a promising career at the tail-end of the 90’s before chasing would-be Dissection glory, thus spitting out a string of unmemorable albums that soiled their discography. Saille operates largely in the same manner, employing tremolo races, non-stop vocals, rampant drumming, and the occasional symphonic doodle. It’s a common practice among extreme metal black metal bands who don’t know the measure of the term “dynamics,” so save for a few darts in and out on a cut such as “Cold War,” Saille is off to the races…and never looking back.

Nevertheless, a good chunk of these jams are at least serviceable. The diabolical thrashing of “The Great God Pan” has its moments; same for “Red Death,” which finds vocalist Dennie Grondelears doing his best Shagrath impersonation, which helps considering the song has the most obvious Dimmu Borgir influence of them all. Beyond that, the inclusion of violins on “Dagon” are noticeable, but per the usual, don’t make much of a difference in a song that like the rest, are too cluttered and wrought with overdone ideas.

For extreme metal bands unable to make distinction in their songs, uniformity is an utter death knell. It’s largely the case with Saille and Eldritch, an album unable to make much of an impression. But hey, their name is somewhat memorable, right?

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