Sarke – Aruagint (Indie Recordings)

Sunday, 1st September 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Black meta: all grown up.  Sarke is a band comprised of a who’s-who of Norwegian metal, including (most prominently) Nocturno Culto- vocalist of the legendary Darkthrone and Sarke, bassist, of bands Tulus and Khold.  Completing the band are members of the touring lineups of Satyricon, Dimmu Borgir and Spiral Architect. Aruagint is the third full-length from Sarke since their formation in 2008.

We get older, we learn from our endeavors and experiments.  We (hopefully) learn what it is that we do well and what we do not.  We can then take all of these shards of wisdom and try to forge them into a potent and efficient means to produce.  Sarke has a lot of experience in their ranks…an impressive pedigree to say the least.  And the album that they have created here demonstrates precise aptitude.  What you won’t hear me say are words like refreshing, exiting, intense, edgy, risky, ferocious, or awesome.  What we have here is a safe, surefooted, plodding, solid, and kinda boring album.

At first listen, I thought of a more polished and produced, rangy yet subdued version of present day Darkthrone (then realized who it was that was actually singing and things became much more clear).  Sarke also evokes a Celtic Frost vibe a bit and mainly keep to a slower to mid-tempo, blackened doom metal with some good atmospheres via keyboard and guitar.  They favor concise and simplified riffing with lockstep rhythms which work well with Nocturno Culto’s blackened metal vocals.

Everything sounds good from production to performance.  The songs are well crafted in terms of flow/composition.  This is a good record to blast in the garage over beers and jokes with pals.  In other words, it’s fine background metal…I just don’t see this as a “main course” kind of album that someone is eagerly anticipating all year…or all decade *cough* CARCASS *cough*.

This is your dad’s black metal.

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