Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sargeist - Crimson Wine (2011)

Crimson Wine / As the Blood Flows On... is a split E.P. that features Sargeist and a worthless band by the name of Drowning the Light. For one reason or another, Shatraug and his cohorts do not seem to mind associating themselves with low-level bands that are not worth the time or attention. This split continues the tradition of partnering with useless scum, though I suppose it does well to make their own material look that much better by comparison. This 7" was released through Moribund Records, in February 2011, and limited to 500 copies.

Written and recorded in July 2007, "Crimson Wine" sat on the shelf for quite some time. The production is pretty rough, being much less clear than the full-length albums. Oddly, Sargeist has a habit of contributing songs various split albums that sound as if they were not mastered at all. This is much more raw and necro than the songs on Satanic Black Devotion or Disciple of the Heinous Path, which is saying something. The vocals are buried in the mix, compared to those albums, but not to the extent where Torog's voice cannot be heard at all. The drumming is clear enough, though it tends to blend into the background during the faster sections. Of course, the guitar is the dominant element here, yet even this is more distorted than usual. The song is mid-paced and possesses a morbid feeling, thanks in part to the open chords that are utilized, on and off, throughout the song. There is a decent amount of variation in tempo, keeping the track from stagnating. The few different riffs here all work well together in creating a sombre atmosphere, which is typical for this band.

As with some of the other split releases, Crimson Wine is not exactly representative of Sargeist's sound and is not recommended as a starting point for anyone that is new to the band. It is not even essential for longtime fans, as it is fairly average for a Sargeist song. Still, it is solid and certainly not a throw-away track. Pick it up if you get the chance, but do not go to great lengths to track it down.