Released: 2010, Twilight-Vertrieb
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
A full plateful of some Ukrainian Black/Thrash´n´Roll here for a change. You think that you might be into checking it out – for your own curiosity´s sake at least? Good – as I did, too. They say, curiosity killed the cat, but with this record, it was a worthy kill (or sacrifice whichever you may prefer).
Semargl have previously been a completely unknown entity to me. ORDO BELLICTUM SATANAS is the band´s 4th full-length album in order already, and it´s said to be quite different as a wholeness, compared to their previous three records – far more removed from the band´s hostile and grim Black Metal sound that they have possessed – obviously pretty successfully on their past releases. Well, I think I can survive somewhat easily with that fact since I really don´t have any expectations at all of this particular record in the very question
Starting off with a song called “Credo Sacrifice”, the band´s blackened Thrash´n´Roll makes a positive impact on me right away, reminding me of the later era Satyricon-meets-PASSAGE-era-Samael, sort of. Sounds like well rockin´ Black/Thrash for my untouchable ears really – while being almost sinfully catchy at the very same time. Woo-hoo, this is good stuff. Me likes. Also the next song, “Credo Possess”, continues in the same appealing vein; basically rockin´ my raven-black socks off, and yet bringing tiny elements on the same plate on offer that could have been borrowed from early Venom, early Bathory, early Slayer records and the like. Really cool and ass-kickin´ stuff indeed!
The same words could be used even for the 3rd song off this record, “Credo Bellictum Satanas”, while being more loaded with thrashier riffs and more bombastic atmosphere. Next song, “Credo Revolution” starts off like some Pain song, the keyboards´ sound pushing determinedly toward the surface (Jonny Maudling from Bal-Sagoth and My Dying Bride standing behind the keys on this record as a guest musician) – and which is later being continued by Nera´s (female, of Darzamat fame) delicate vocal lines. “Credo Total Krieg” on the other hand, reminds me slightly of Samael in some peculiar way.
And speaking of other guests on Semargl´s latest opus, they have also got Iscariah (Immortal, Dead To This World, Necrophagia), Novy (Dies Irae, Behemoth) and Vrangsinn (Carpathian Forest, Nattefrost) making their guest appearances on this record, even if I don´t consider their input too significant for this album at all.
Overall it needs to be said that there´s a nice, kind of punky feel pushed in for the songs on O.B.S., while still having lots of variation in terms of breaking some standard-ish musical boundaries around the album. Not sure if their somewhat radical musical change will appeal to all Black Metal purists who have previously been used to hearing Semargl coming on their faces as a grim and furious sounding troop before. I at least found the band´s blackened Thrash´n´Roll pretty damn entertaining on their 4th album, and can warmly recommend it to anyone who can stand some experimenting within an extreme genre of metal. Good stuff here nevertheless.