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Review: Zel Agganor - Rise of the Black Star
Zel Agganor
Rise of the Black Star

Label: Independent
Year released: 2017
Duration: 27:32
Tracks: 5
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: August 29, 2018
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Rise of the Black Star

Rated 2.8/5 (56%) (5 Votes)

This is an amazing EP put out by one-man act Zel Agganor, who exist for one and only one purpose: to be as close to Bal-Sagoth as humanly possible. Since it has been twelve frigging years since the last Bal-Sagoth album, and no sign that there will ever be another one, I for one welcome a band that wants to imitate them, especially when that imitation is done as well as this.

If you told somebody this was a new EP of Bal-Sagoth stuff, they would totally believe you, as there is nothing whatsoever to give away the illusion: the guitar sound, the keys, the riff-style, and even the vocals of sole band member Henry Mahy are a dead ringer for Byron himself. This is not music influenced by Bal-Sagoth, this is straight-up music made to sound like it could be Bal-Sagoth. The cover version of "The Empyreal Lexicon" is so spot-on it could be the original recording.

Normally I would side-eye this kind of outright imitation, but with the real Bal-Sagoth absent for so long and unlikely to return, I am glad to have someone who is dedicated to keeping their flame burning and doing it so well. All hail the heir to the star-gods!

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