Released: 2005, Folter Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
Funny…I thought “Piene” was a type of pasta.
Anyway, I’ll clear the med tray by saying that Salacious Gods are (like Alghazanth) among the most underrated Black Metal bands I am aware of. While their albums have been of varying quality and caliber over the years, their firm sense of identity and musical ambition are consistent, and they’ve never wavered their ideals. Wagged and wiggled them a bit? Sure. But they’ve never wavered them, per se…
PIENE is a prime example of Salacious Gods at their best, doing what they do well, and doing it better than usual. Is it different than anything you’ve heard before? Oh, of course not—don’t be silly. But it’s simply done well, and this is all that makes them what they are. They are an obscure, proficient little act that you might find by surprise at the import shop. They are the sort of band that a more jaded fan might make “there own” upon discovery, if for no other basis than the amount of effort expended upon finding them. This is “kvlt,” in the honest sense.
There is an inherent melodicism hidden beneath the waves of harsh aggression; nowhere is this more apparent than tracks such as “Black Bile Desecration,” which also benefits from a multiple stacked vocal style. Really, the concept of “waves of sound” truly does exemplify much of what occurs on this CD: there is a Euro Melodic-Death base, but without much of the twin-guitar harmonies one might have grown accustomed to within the scene. Instead, there are blasts of noise and surges of adrenaline that rise and fall with the Nordic tide. And like such notables as Xasthur and their ilk, it works. The melody is less subtle here than with a Xasthur-type artist, but it is no less important to the overall effect; “Ieskaolt In Piene” is a fantastic example—if any track truly “rides its own waves,” this one does.
Now keep in mind that when I discuss “waves of noise,” I mean it more in the Phil Spector sense, than the Merzbow way. This CD is exquisitely produced for Black Metal—there is no speaker-raping fuzz or screeching, grating surface noise. This isn’t Utuk Xul, or some other lo-fi shite.
“Hexencult” introduces some slow, grinding grooves to the collective oeuvre, before shifting back to familiar blackened territory—an approach rekindled in “…Pokkel 1227.”
“Sarin Attack” has more of a traditional German Thrash feel—like ENDLESS PAIN-era Kreator. Actually, early Kreator is a fair reference wherein a majority of the vocals are concerned. This snarls and rasps just fine, with the occasional off-pitch shriek for variety. The vocals are also mixed quite comfortably; the guitars and drums are prominent in the mix, instead. This is for the best—it gives the vox a hollow, almost distant feel that only adds to the atmosphere of the band. It also means that you’re less likely to be irritated when they misfire.
“Scars On My Wrist” and “Slaughtering Blasphemic Hellforce,” though somewhat less distinctive than other tracks, are a good example of what the band is capable of, almost in a textbook sense: there are those waves and blasts of noise and sound, vaguely concealing the melody beneath, which then breaks through to the surface like a swollen cock through a cheap rubber. It’s almost triumphant in the way it thrusts and spurts at you—like it’s mocking you. I’ll leave the reader with that image.
I wanted to give this a full four out of five--and if you're a diehard, pursue it in that manner. But I have the distinct impression that this band has not yet reached its peak; I suspect the best is yet to come.
Stylistically, this is all over the place; fans of everything from Sargeist to old (pre-glam) Dimmu Borgir will find something to like here. It really is underrated, and worth a spin for the modern Black Metal enthusiast bored with all the Dark Throne and Burzum clones in the scene.