Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Torgeist - Time of Sabbath (1995)

Torgeist was not really among the elite of the LLN movement, gaining most of their notoriety through the split that was released with Vlad Tepes in 1996. This material was taken from their second demo, Time of Sabbath, originally released in 1995. This tape is really the only music from Torgeist that is worth hearing, and the demo actually sounds better than the versions on the split (despite being the same recording, the vinyl has a very low volume that lacks the clarity of the cassette).

Torgeist's sound is not that dissimilar to Belketre, which makes sense as they share two members. Musically, this is very raw and lo-fi, nearly to the extent that it might make your ears bleed. There are a decent number of tempo changes and odd timing signatures. Though the guitars are hellish and possess a fuzzy tone, the bass almost commands more of the listener's attention, rumbling much closer to the surface than one might expect. The songwriting is somewhat unique, as it becomes difficult to really compare this to anything else, directly. These songs lack the standard characteristics that defined most Black Metal of this period; i.e. tremolo melodies and blast beats dominating the sound. In fact, most of this material is kind of mid-paced and relaxed.

Though Time of Sabbath is not the greatest release from the French Black Legions, it still shows a great deal of improvement over Torgeist's first demo, and is actually worth listening to. Unlike Devoted to Satan, this demo possesses a sense of dark atmosphere and a misanthropic spirit that is conveyed through the hateful vocals and the more inspired songwriting. If you ever decide to explore the music of Torgeist, make sure you start here.