SARGEIST
"Disciple of the Heinous Path"

(Moribund)

01. Black Treasures of Melancholy
02. Remains of an Unholy Past
03. Cursed Blaze of Rituals
04. Disciple of the Heinous Path
05. Heretic Iron Will
06. Echoes from a Morbid Night

RATING: 7.5/10

Far from any reinvention of the wheel, SARGEIST's "Disciple of the Heinous Path" is a good example of well-written, old school, Norwegian-inspired black metal that just happens to be played by Finns. Morbid guitar melodies and primitive riff tones abound, and a natural drum sound, Torog's strained croak-vocals, and a fog-covered aura combine for a compelling experience. Considering the crackling riffs heard here, it is hardly a shock that SARGEIST's cold heart and blackened soul is that of HORNA guitarist Shatraug.

The skillfully selective use of pace-change is one of the album's most notable qualities, "Cursed Blaze of Rituals" and the title track examples. Both feature frightful sections of lumbering misery that give way to up-shifts in tempo, painting a mental picture of being dragged face first along a rocky path, then grabbed by the hair and thrown off a cliff. That is not to say that certain songs do not strike hard and fast, such as album-opener "Black Treasures of Melancholy" and the eight-and-a-half minute "Remains of an Unholy Path", the latter about as good as it gets when it comes to riding a bleak groove to demonic glory. The key throughout is the dreadful feeling one gets from a tortuous riff or a grooving death-gallop, both present at every turn on "Disciple of the Heinous Path".

Don't be fooled into thinking that the most convincing forms of primal black metal savagery are simple to create, a mere matter of recording a live session on a jam box and pressing a few hundred CDRs. The creation of fear through a sound mix that is of sufficient quality to ensure clarity, yet still trampled and dirt-caked, is what SARGEIST has captured on "Disciples of the Heinous Path".

It is an understatement to say that the market is flooded with cheap imitation black metal and one-man band wannabes. Those seeking a vintage sounding and effectively arranged album of grimness would do well to take a chance on "Disciple of the Heinous Path".

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