Released: 2003, Moribund Records
Jesus fuck! This is some brutally horrifying shit. Coming from a label whose motto is “Cold. Grim. Evil.”, you had to assume that this would be some of the most hideous blackened metal going, and you are not disappointed! Sargeist is a Finnish black metal super group of sorts, featuring members of Horna, Pest, and Behexen with the main man being Shatraug. SATANIC BLACK DEVOTION is the band’s debut offering, but they have existed since 1999, releasing a few difficult to find demos in the intervening years.
This album is black metal of the most pure form, kneeling most closely at the putrid altar of TRANSYLVANIAN HUNGER. If that album didn’t do anything for you, move right along. However, if Darkthrone is near and dear to you, Sargeist will sit perfectly in your collection. Shatraug’s screams are pure evil, his screeches echoing like a flesh-tearing demon. The music is exactly as you’d expect, brutally fast melodic riffing over top of dully pounded drums and a sorely abused hi-hat. The bass is nowhere to be found.
Basically I have described every single song on the album, but Sargeist are clearly excellent song writers, as they mange to make each song distinct and, more importantly, memorable. It’s not often that I walk around the office humming a song like “Black Fucking Murder” to myself, but damn it if that isn’t one of the catchiest black metal songs ever recorded!
This album is the grimmest of the grim, the evilest of the evil, and as far as black metal goes, the best of the best. While nothing will ever top the founding releases of the genre, Sargeist come damn close to matching them. Support the coffin-spirit!!