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Sarpa - Solivagus

Sarpa
Solivagus
by William Travers at 18 May 2020, 5:18 PM

SARPA is a solo project from the mind of David Baxter, hailing from Austin Texas he releases his debut album onto the world in June 2020. With a Black Metal styling that also takes ideologies and stylistic tendencies from other sub genres this is sure to be an interesting ride.

The artwork to “Solivagus” is a macabre affair, with the image of death standing over a sobbing individual on what appears to be a beach. Very much buying into the ‘death and despair’ imagery of both Death and Black Metal.

The album opens with “Cleanse” with driving tribal style drums that lead us into a chaotic and dissonant guitar line. This is accented by Death Metal growls and angry shouts that compliment each other and the disturbing music very well. The music gathers pace and intensity before coming to an abrupt end…

“Predacious Dimensions” … Now I’m sure that was part of the lyrics to SERJ TANKIEN’s hit “Empty Walls” … However, I digress… With another introduction that displays a multi-disciplined talent that spans across the various instruments used and creates again an almost mystical or ritualistic atmosphere. This gives way for an aggressive and brutal rhythm and riffage. David goes on to show his understanding of structure and effect by utilising layering and intensity to change the entire of the dynamic of the music through various sections, in fact it feels at times that an entirely new song has begun due to the sharp changes in direction that have occurred.

With a no fuck around introduction and an instantly mean attitude “Anguishing Reveries” delivers a brutal assault on the listener. It is relentless and energetic from start to finish with an intensity to rival the big names of Death Metal. To say that this is one man alone is incredible!

Finally, the title track. “Solivagus”, comes in with a more laid back and deliberate introduction that almost reminded me of something that GOJIRA would produce, in fact the entire track could be easily mistaken, musically, for something from the French powerhouse. But again, we are treated to a complete U turn in the latter stages of the song as the heavy pounding distortion is switched for clean guitars and this is pleasant.

Overall, I would say that this is an excellent album, especially when one considers that everything was done by one man. People should definitely give this a go as I feel that over time we could see more and more of David Baxter and SARPA.


Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Cleanse
2. Triad Of Might
3. Predacious Dimensions
4. Evanesce
5. Anguishing Reveries
6. Solivagus
7. Horizons Worlds Beyond
Lineup:
David Baxter - Everything
Record Label: Independent
     


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