Sarke - Oldarhian

When Sarke landed their debut back in 2009, critics hailed it as just another Darkthrone. Maybe it was because Nocturno Culto headed the vocals in his usual style, or maybe it was because it focused on repetitive, catchy riffs. But, whatever the reason, it seems with their second album, the band is doing everything they can to remove themselves from the comparison. Well... not entirely. Culto still roars in his usual sneering rasp and many of the riffs are still in that catchy, punk black metal style that are just a lot more cleanly produced than in Darkthrone, as with "Pessimist." But, fans will certainly notice the more progressive route of the music. Culto's partner in crime, Sarke, continues with his excellent musicianship on guitars, bass, drums, and other instruments. For one, there are keyboards involved to add more symphonic bits to the music, such as on the track "Captured." It's a much slower, darker version of Culto and co. that tend to drag along without being boring and overall adds a whole new experience for Sarke fans.

Others like "Paradigm Lost" go more for a heavy metal style and focus more on the guitar solos than the riffs. The keyboards here chime in every once in a while too to add to the atmosphere. "Burning Of The Monoliths" has a distinct clean piano sound mixed in with the catchy guitars, but the entire track still drags on in a slower, progressive fashion that gives Sarke more of a distinct sound rather tan the rapid, catchy rhythms. The album closes on "The Stranger Brew," which makes a fine use of the energetic rhythms of the guitars in the punk black metal style that breezes by at a medium pace; some fans might argue that the loss of momentum and speed might detract from the band's fury, but the slower, more medium pace is much more welcome compared to before. Overall, this is a great step in the right direction for both Darkthrone fans to enjoy along with those who are seeking something more. Sarke have really outdone themselves here and hopefully will keep up in their work to diversify and conquer more earholes with their metal music.

  1. Condemned
  2. Pilgrim Of The Occult
  3. Pessimist
  4. Passage To The Oldarhian
  5. Fla The Wolf
  6. Captured
  7. Paradigm Lost
  8. Novel Dawn
  9. Burning Of The Monoliths
  10. The Stranger Brew

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
May 15, 2011

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