Sammath ‎– Strijd

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Sealed Pro-Tape cassette released by Zwaertgevegt, limited to 100 copies/

Sammath achieved a vast sonic landscape with the release of “Strijd” that merged fast black metal riffs with elegant melodies that rise out of the chaos and return to mesh with its themes and transit to a final state which expands upon the conflict. The result felt like a land constantly wrecked by war and disaster in which brief moments of intense beauty emerge. The majority of the riffs here is consistent with what one might expect from late-1990s black metal.

Unlike most bands Sammath fits these riffs together into a language that fits each song, and as such there are no random bits floating around for the purpose of being faithful to a template. Using keyboards sparsely this music punctuates its moments of union, which tend to have a feel of grandeur and arrogance, with a musical exchange that counter-balances the nihilistic and windswept minimalistic riffs with a vision of thematic growth in longer phrases. Against this onslaught drums batter away like a gigantic demon racing across open ground in pursuit of an innocent and hated victim, with bass sawing below as guitar takes the dominant voice and plays it against the keyboards.

Like a good book, this music uncovers unexpected possibilities in melodic exploration, reminding the black metal enthusiast of Emperor or Summoning. With a refined sense of riff writing and howling vocals that exactingly inflect details of mood variance, the music of Sammath brought to black metal a new hope and power.