Sargeist – Feeding the Crawling Shadows (World Terror Committee)

Tuesday, 18th March 2014
Rating: 8/10

Remember that Rotting Christ song, “The Old Coffin Spirit?” Think of that when listening to Sargeist. The name Sargeist is a morpheme of German phrase “sarg geist,” meaning coffin spirit. The Finnish band fulfills this title in the darkest crevices of black metal with dispiriting and sinister spirits of the undead rising from their coffins.

Sargeist was initially the solo project of Shatraug, but his project developed into a full band of four black metal-bound necromancers: guitarist Shatraug, vocalist Hoath Torog, drummer Horns, and bassist Vainaja. Sargeist’s music is unremittingly sharp as a needle and hits hard as a hammer, for they all maul their instruments as Hoath slays the air with his raw killer vocals. Sargeist spread the black metal plague with their latest release, Feeding the Crawling Shadows.

To get a feel of such traditionally fashioned black metal and its raw, ugly, obscure, and morose sounds, one must tune out of the clarified deceptions of mainstream recording and tune into the hazing darkness of black metal, and Sargeist’s Feeding the Crawling Shadows is a superb representation of such music. No matter how many times the record is played over, some may never be able to distinguish one song from the other by merely hearing the introductions alone, as most pieces immediately fire off in a torrential thrash. However, when listening to (not just hearing) these songs, it’s clear that the tones, tunings, and slashing noises of them are divergent. The beginning of “The Shunned Angel” does give a slightly harder punch than the other punch-in-the-face-with-a-spiked-glove-like songs. The bewildering “Inside the Demon’s Maze” has a perplexing title and, to match it, five minutes of turbulent fervency. “In Charnel Dreams” is more like a nightmare than a dream, a terror-filled crushing carnage of instrumental and vocal pandemonium.

Feeding the Crawling Shadows might be a tornadic mess, but it’s also a transfixing ritual. Sargeist creates purely raw black metal solidified in a bellicose force of death, darkness, occultism, and nihilism. No clean vocals, no nimble instrumentation, no light shining, Sargeist solely adhere to the dark arts.

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