|Review: Sammath - Dodengang|
Label: Folter Records
Year released: 2006
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: February 19, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (8 Votes)
Although Sammath have actually been kicking around since 1994, this is my first experience of their music. 'Dodengang' is the band's third album, where they play a ruthless, acrid variety of smoking black metal, very much in the form of Marduk, albeit with a much larger swathe of melody painted throughout.
Album opener 'To Hell' has all the clichés one would expect –samples of war, machine-gun fire, explosions and bombs whistling to their destinations (something that becomes a bit of a re-occurrence throughout the album so you later find out), before the track properly kicks in with a warm fuzzy guitar tone, distorted bass and blasting drums. There's an interesting use of haunting guitar runs over the rhythm guitars in most of the songs, and due to the fact they're played in such a dry high pitched melodic guitar tone, you could almost be mistaken into thinking they're played by keyboards at times; such is the speed of picking and the hazy sound. However, where this album fails slightly is the fact that it struggles to keep your attention over multiple listens. Upon the first couple of spins I was highly impressed by their intuitive use of guitars mentioned previously, but this soon becomes slightly tiresome due to the nature of riffs used, and the occasionally bland arrangements they're being played over. Although there is some really good stuff to be heard here (the excellent sprinting ghostly riff of 'Ravager' comes to mind, as well as the crushing intensity of the title track) it's just not consistent enough to warrant playing more than a few times, without the temptation of skipping tracks.
The sharp, angular Marduk styled blasting does become irksome at times too, again due to the lack of deviation in the band's vision from heads down blastbeat driven destruction, without enough of the riffs to back it up. But, this is by no means a bad album; it's just not a great album – mainly due to the fact that it has a slight whiff of the black-metal-by-numbers that too many bands nowadays churn out to merit more than its allotted time in your CD player.
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