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Sahhar - Tiġrif tal-Ġnus

Sahhar
Tiġrif tal-Ġnus
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 01 March 2021, 6:22 AM

SAHHAR is a black metal band from Malta who formed in 2006. It is actually all done by one man named Antikrist. Under the SAHHAR moniker, he has released six full lengths with this album, "Tiġrif tal-Ġnus" being the latest of those. In addition, six EPs, a split, compilation and a demo have also been released. Out of all this music, I have only ever been familiar with "De Manu Viri Belli," the ep fr.2018. I like it a lot so how about this new full length?

My first impression is how it sounds differently from a lot of other black metal, specifically the guitar tone and how the riffs are shaped. "Tiġrif tal-Ġnus," is an album that doesn't rely on non stop tremolo picking nor are the songs just built on nonstop speed. The structures of the songs are very broad and adventurous and don't follow any certain way of doing things. Each song has varying tempos with a lot of things going on inside them.

The song writing is definitely more methodical—care and precision were put into this album and it really shows. But all this attention to the craft never takes away the bite or edge from the music. This six track, 43 minute album doesn't have any lulls or distractions. Each second is intense, each note of music has its place on the overall tapestry. The production is a highlight for me—this album just sounds damn good. I've never understood why so many BM bands feel the need to make their album sound like garbage. "Tiġrif tal-Ġnus" shows that a comfortable and enjoyable soundscape is possible in the extremes.

The first track, "Nilqghu…" is an instrumental that sets up the stage for the rest of the album. The song begins with electric distortion for a brief moment before cutting off. After a pause of a few seconds, operatic vocals come into the mix. Moments later, the song breaks open with solid and catchy riffs backed by well rounded drums, with the snare work standing out the most to me. "Nirien ta' Smirna," is furious, a storm of drums and guitars. A blackened screams rips through it the turns into a brutal blackness death display of growls. Despite how hard the song continues to hit, it does stay atmospheric.  Around the 3 and a half minute mark, the rides break up into choppy pieces to let the lead guitar shines a bit before doubling back down with the drums in tow. It makes for a very heavy ride, a sort of intensity that a lot of other black metal bands can have trouble building.

 "Elf Qorriegha ghal Elf Mejjet f'Mitt Qamar,"  stands out immediately because of the crisp yet hard hitting precision of the drums. Their work melds in with the vocals, which are barked out like a mad dog. This combination makes the song surreal and somewhat hypnotic. The songs mid portion is more melodic than what has came before and provides a respite from the chaos. The last minute of the song brings back that slight use of melody while the drums hammer away. "It-Twegiba," takes a slower approach than the previous tracks but the build up is great as it settles into a decent groove with some lovely additional vocals from a woman…I never found out her name but she fits the song like a glove and adds in another dimension.

"Ghadam bla Ghadd lil-Hinn mill-Ilvant tal-Adrijatiku," has a dark and dirty main riff which layers the song in blackened sludge. This is probably my favorite song on the album…the nearly four minute build up is insanely well done and when the vocals kick in, the song is pushed further down into a dark pit of despair. The lead guitar that hangs over the riffs near the songs end is haunting and a fitting way to end the song.

"Belt Stuprata," is a grand ending because it is the most intense song on the album—just pure righteousness fury. The vocals are especially searing and cut super deep into the song. The guitars are groovy in places which offsets the nature of the song enough to push it forward with good flow. All in all, SAHHAR has released an impressive album here and it will definitely make me dive further into their discography.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.Nilqgħu…
2.Nirien ta' Smirna
3.Elf Qurriegħa għal-Elf Mejjet f'Mitt Qamar
4.It-Tweġiba
5.Għadam bla għadd fl-Ilvant tal-Adrijatiku
6.Belt Stuprata
Lineup:
Antikrist - Everything
Record Label: Independent
     


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