Reviewed: January, 2018
Released: 2017, Non Serviam Records
Reviewer: Bob Davidson
Stahlsarg is a UK based black metal band that was formed in Suffolk: the land that spawned Cradle of Filth, Ed Sheeran and Branston Pickle. Apparently they were talent spotted by Hellhammer from Mayhem during their demo years, which should be all the seal of approval one needs. ‘Mechanisms of Misanthropy’ is the second full length album.
I’ll be honest, the album doesn’t really start that well. I find ‘Raise the Dead’ to be a fairly predictable and staid track. It definitely doesn’t help when he tries to do a creepy voiceover, and it just sounds like the manager of the pub taking the mic… “could the owner of the blue Ford Cortina please stop blocking the emergency exits…”. But things get a lot better. ‘Das Falbeil’ works well in a dark waltz time sig, and is punctuated well throughout with some hard drumming blasts; I also really like the harmonic scale the use for the ostinato bass. ‘Pharmaceutical Frontline’ does something similar, with a slightly exotic sound, and ends up rocking.
All in all though, I wasn’t wowed by it at any point. It’s enjoyable, with some brilliant bits, but you need to wade through some periods of ennui to earn them. I can imagine they’d be banging live, and as an album it’s crisp without being overworked – the guys can definitely play. Unfortunately their contemporaries are just somewhat casting a shadow over their attempts at the moment.
There’s potential there, no doubt. I’ll be making sure to check out album number three. Very best of luck to them.