Review: “Goddess” by SLAEGT

“When I think of heavy metal, there is a certain feeling I am after. A special haunting, emotional impact that I’m seeking. Nowadays, with a total over-saturation of new bands, I will always be super excited when I get that same feeling that was there when I first got into underground metal. Slægt is one of those rare examples. Saying this, I don’t mean that they are a retro style act in any sense. They are constantly pushing forward, exploring new ways to develop their own style of blackened heavy metal. Fans of Dissection, Morbus Chron and Tribulation won’t be disappointed. I was overwhelmed when I got my hands on their latest offering and I keep coming back to it. I look forward to share those special emotions with the Roadburn fanatics. I think what ALL underground, “true” art is about is about an honest expression and this is something that Slægt has a lot of. To them black metal is not a pose; be ready for some serious realness.” ~ Tomas Lindberg, At The Gates

It has been a decade of aggression from Danish Black Heavy Metal outfit SLAEGT (a.k.a. Slægt, meaning “lineage” / “heritage” in Danish language and pronounced /slɛɡt/), growing from humble beginnings in 2011 with vocalist and guitarist Oskar “Asrok ” J. Frederiksen their only original member of the group, although the remainder of the quartet in bassist Olle Bergholz (Ond Tro), drummer Adam CCsquele (Guldsjakal, Kamp, ex-Reverie) and guitarist Anders M. Jørgensen (Kamp) have been together since 2015 with “Goddess” marking their fourth studio album in that time. Recorded and mixed by Martin ‘Konie’ Ehrencrona (Refused, In Solitude, Tribulation) at Studio Cobra before being mastered by Magnus Lindberg (The Hellacopters, Cult of Luna, Dool) at Redmount Studios, both in Stockholm, Sweden in late 2021, the album comes with stunning artwork created by Dávid Glomba (Svartidaudi, Cult Of Fire, Malokarpatan). A forty minute play on lyrical themes of Hatred, Individualism, Isolation and Magic over haunting cuts, it offers as much in atmosphere as it does in cut and thrust and if you haven’t heard them before but are a fan of At The Gates, then those comments by Tomas Lindberg will have you cracking a smile within a few moments of opening cutDeceived By An Amethyst” when the sound of a Saxophone is heard…

…and as a band that have transcended Black Metal, “Goddess” has much more it it than meets the eye. The opening cut is an eerie and interesting one, with Asrok’s gravelly vocal tones the heaviest part, adjoined to harmonized melodic guitar that creates a sinister atmosphere before the rampaging Dillinger Escape Plan chaos vibes of “Kiss From A Knife” which has noodling leads and an undercurrent of smouldering Punk Rock to accompany the bursts of Black Metal kit work creates a sense of tension. There is no doubting that Slægt are masters at creating that raw edge and the musicianship on show is incredible as well as being authentic and downright evil. These cuts sound as if they are being played live with the band in a single room, a hold on to your hat, inches from the mainline, chaotic freedom and breakneck pacing to each of them. Slowing things down for “Hunt Again” which has more of a spoken word style evil narrative about it without dropping any of the harshness of Asrok’s tone while having some Jazz inspired nuances that shine through the darkness over multiple listens in the spirit of more Black ‘n Roll outfits like Sadistic Force or Bewitcher minus the Motorhead worship while adding a lethal dose of avant-garde spirit. In keeping with traditions, they have saved their finest moment for a grand finale of epic proportions, so epic in fact that it has its own introduction piece in “Stabat Bloody Stabat“. The title track is an absolute beast of Melodic Black Metal with touches of Doom in swathes of melancholic lead guitars that build in movements like that of a storm brewing as daylight fades into night; the false ending then giving an opportunity to provide an end note of acoustic guitar work that is simply sublime. By the end the question is only how the left hand path led you here because Slægt have some how managed to create an album that doesn’t compromise on intensity or tension while introducing great melody which on paper sounds impossible… [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Deceived By An Amethyst
  2. Kiss From A Knife
  3. Hunt Again
  4. Fealty, Thunder Whip
  5. Stabat Bloody Stabat
  6. Goddess

Goddess” by SLAEGT is out 18th March via Century Media

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