Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sarke - Bogefod (2016)

The best way that I can describe Bogefod is “old black with gloss” as that's more or less what you'll be getting within the admittedly short thirty-five minutes of play time on this full-length. Oddly enough though, Bogefod feels like a full meal in itself, instead of just a snack. This fourth full-length from a project started by Sarke and Darkthrone's Nocturno Culto, it literally sounds like black metal should in the year 2016. There's an obvious raw warmth to the record, but it doesn't sound like it was recorded in some cave stuffed with pillows. I can discern the very Satyricon friendly riffs (which makes sense, as lead guitarist Steinar Gundersen is known for playing live Satyricon gigs) as a style that closely resembles what most of us wanted from that self-titled record soon begins to take shape here. There are some very peculiar moments though, like the folky beginning of what turns out to be an awesome black/doom number in “Barrow Of Tolov” as well as the operatic female vocal fronted acoustic, “Dawning” which will have many a black metal fan eagerly hitting the skip button as they wonder exactly as to what happened there. It's a nice piece, but it doesn't really belong on a black metal record, I think. Nevertheless, anyone who loved Satyricon's Volcano and Now, Diabolical! Albums should find something to like here. There's enough black n' roll and punk influences working their way into this to make it stand out, especially when the band decide to expand a little bit beyond the simplicity that can exist within this kind of black metal. Perhaps a few of these songs might be a little too short and don't allow the keyboards (played by Anders Hunstad) as much freedom as I'd like (especially when the sections that they are utilized in come out rather well in the mix) but there's no doubt in my mind that they're trying to attempt something new (check out the surf rock riffs in “Burn”) with this style and I hope it's not too long before we hear more of it. Bogefod sounds classic, but it still has enough modernism to see this frosty old genre taking a bold leap into the modern age. This is the sound of new black, or as I said – old black with gloss.

(9 Tracks, 35:00)


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