Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sargeist - Lair of Necromancy (2011)

Released in November 2011, this 7" E.P. is somewhat of a curiosity. It is not that the material is not solid, for it is. However, the two songs presented here do not really fit the concept of Sargeist. It is with this realization that one begins to look back at Let the Devil In and notice that something had changed since the old days. The grim feeling seems to have been replaced with more uplifting melodies that betray almost a sense of optimism. This is more pronounced on Lair of Necromancy, as the only things dark and evil about this E.P. are the song titles and the imagery. 

The music fits the same general style as before, with a lot of fast drumming and tremolo riffs hovering about, yet the feeling is off. Melody is nothing new for Sargeist, yet it was always built upon a foundation of raw and hateful Black Metal. This time around, it seems as if something has been lost. Perhaps it came as a result of Shatraug injecting more of the original Sargeist atmosphere into his primary band, Horna, leaving him with no real idea of what to do with his most well-known side project. Either way, this material sounds far too happy and upbeat and, sad as it is to say, comes as a real disappointment. No amount of underground production or cult aesthetics can change the fact that this music does not convey even the tiniest amount of darkness, whatsoever. 

If you are a die-hard Sargeist fan, you may want to sit this one out. The material is too bright and inconsistent to have been released under the Sargeist name and would have been better suited for something else. Disregard Lair of Necromancy and, maybe, go back and reevaluate Let the Devil In. If you want the type of hate-filled, raw and evil Black Metal that was found on the band's first two full-lengths, look to Horna, instead. If you seek more of the mournful vibe that was sometimes present, give a listen to Shatraug's other project, Mortualia.