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Saligia - Fonix

by Danny Sanderson at 12 April 2016, 1:09 AM

When it comes to Norwegian Black Metal, for the most part, there's a very rigid form that many bands follow. However, to write all Black Metal from Norway of as a carbon copy of the likes of BURZUM or TAAKE is a bit misleading. There's quite a few Black Metal bands that shake up the formula and inject a lot of cool, memorable ideas into it. SALIGIA are definitely one of those bands. They take the archetypical idea of raw, bestial Black Metal inspired by the giants of the first and second wave, and imbue it with their own twists and progressive flourishes, which makes the Trondheim duos second full length record, "Fonix", all the more compelling.

The albums opening offering, "Fire" is very intense and abrasive. The guitars have a great, dissonant edge to them, there's a thick, pulsing bass line throughout, and the vocals are a ferocious death rattle. This is the kind of Black Metal that is rooted in Hard Rock riffs, and it's a really infectious, memorable song to open on. "Revelation" is a much more measured, mid-paced affair that slowly  builds around a dense bass line and bellowing, almost chanted, vocals. This quickly gives way to much heavier, dissonant guitars and some really focused, juggernaut drumming. This track focuses much more on building an atmosphere than opting for an all out aural assault, and this proves to be one of this tracks greatest strengths. "Abyss", the albums third offering, has some really powerful, beefy guitar lines, chaotic drumming and some incredibly varied, visceral vocals that carve themselves into the listeners memory. It's very evocative of first wave Black Metal giants like CELTIC FROST, but with a much more atmospheric and progressive musical approach that gives it its own, distinct sound and flavour.

The penultimate track on this record, "Voices", is perhaps the most impressive and unique on the record. It begins with some really dissonant, clean guitars that is a far cry from the jarring, primal edge of the first three songs on the record. The music quickly descends into the harsher, grating territory that has marked this album up until this point, but revisits the softer aspects of this songs initial sound later on, ebbing and flowing between the too throughout. It has a lot more variety than what has come before it, and this makes it one of the high points of the record, setting the listener up perfectly for the vast and monolithic "Fonix"; this fifth and final track is another much eerier, darker and more foreboding track which again makes great use of cleaner tones and more focused and measured musical ideas. It gradually develops a more caustic sound, but it is nothing compared to the first few songs on the record. Overall this is a really good track, with some awesome, chanted vocals and interesting guitar hooks. Even though this is track is quite long, at just over ten minutes, it manages to get enough ideas in there to keep it exciting for the listener, and it's a great way to end the record.

Although, at times, I feel that this band might benefit from being more liberal with hooks and catchy motifs in their music, overall, this is an awesome record. SALIGIA have done a great job of taking a tried, tested and much loved niche in Extreme Metal, and adding their own distinct flavour to it. There's a few, tentative baby steps in the realms of progressive music, which implies that the band intends on evolving their sound even further. Regardless of your own personal views on this record, it's safe to say that whatever this band follows this up with will be an interesting listen indeed.

3 Star Rating

1. Fire: Tear Apart The Veil
2. Revelation: A Sign Reveals
3. Abyss: In Darkness Forge Alight
4. Voices: Her Hidden Darkness
5. Fonix: Flame Coronation
Ahzari- Vocals, Guitars, Bass
V.- Drums
Record Label: Van Rcords


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Edited 05 April 2020

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