As a metal purist, I often find myself yearning for the primitive sounds of yesteryear. I frequently reminisce of the days when black metal was synonymous with simple blasphemy rather than high esoteric pretenses, the way it is today. Remember when metal was unprocessed, raw and ugly; when it was unapologetic, brutish and insensitive? I certainly do and so does Norway’s newest black/thrash outfit, Sarke.
As a side project of famed Darkthrone vocalist, Nocturnal Culto, Sarke, formed a mere five years ago and has since kept busy, releasing two full length albums to date. Their third LP, entitled “Aruagint”, is set to unleash on September 20th, 2013, through the independent label, “Indie Recordings”. Auragint is an unbridled attack on hipster black metal to say the least and instead of releasing yet another second or third wave black metal record, Sarke has once again delved deep into black metal’s murky beginnings and dusted off their old Celtic Frost records, to create an LP that is a beautifully grotesque, blast from the past.
From beginning to end, the overall sentiment generated on this LP is that of ugliness and undirected hatred. Aruagint is highly evocative of Celtic Frost’s debut album, Morbid Tales and Sarke has injected a bit of Motorhead’s primitive candor into its sordid recipe, just for shits and giggles. The riffing found throughout this album is slow and deliberate but not in a doomy or depressive way. The guitar sounds found here are a celebration of metal’s roots; “rocky”, groovy and only slightly distorted. Seductive drum beats and predictable changes add an air of blackened romance to this masterfully crafted LP. Tracks like “Ugly” add a bit of humor to the album. Sarke does not take themselves too seriously.
Perhaps the most enjoyable element found on this LP, are Nocturnal Culto’s foul and repugnant vocals, which are essentially sneers in the face of modern convention. Sarke even adds and air of ambience to this release on tracks like Salvation, furthering their range. While Sarke may not create the most technical riffs, the most intelligent lyrics or the heaviest sounds, the mastery of this band is that they’ve captured the essence black metal’s primitive roots incredibly well. Aruagint is revolting, bad-tempered and a little tongue in cheek. Another stroke of genius from the brilliant mind of Nocturnal Culto, Aruagint is most definitely worth several listens.
1. Jaunt of the Obsessed
2. Jodau Aura
4. Strange Pungent Odyssey
5. Walls of Ru
7. Skeleton Sand
8. Icon Usurper
9. Rabid Hunger