Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents -

Sarke, Auðn, Ghold, De­gial, Ram, Sorcerer, Lento, Te­tra­gram­macide.


INI­TIALLY START­ING OUT life in 2008 as a solo project/means to blow off some cre­ative steam for Khold and Tu­lus mu­si­cian Thomas ‘Sarke’ Ber­gli, the ex­per­i­ment quickly mu­tated into a dif­fer­ent kind of mon­ster en­tirely. Nowa­days more of a ‘tra­di­tional’ group, Sarke’s line-up fea­tures a cast of sea­soned play­ers – in­clud­ing mem­bers past and present of Dark­throne, Satyri­con, Au­top­ul­ver and Spi­ral Ar­chi­tect – and their back cat­a­logue is as for­mi­da­ble as their com­bined pedi­gree sug­gests. Aim­ing to strike in the wake of the crit­i­cal suc­cess of 2016’s Bo­ge­fod, the Nor­we­gian gen­re­strad­dlers have un­leashed their fifth ef­fort, Vi­ige Urh. Not an of­fi­cial con­cept al­bum as such, the opus does share a com­mon theme of “time passed”

(the LP’s name loosely trans­lates as ‘A time that’s al­ready lived and can­not be changed’) and draws upon Norse mythol­ogy and his­tory through­out its eight tracks. Open­ing ro­bustly with the ti­tle track, a pow­er­ful Mer­cy­ful Fate­minded lead riff serves as a thrilling in­tro­duc­tion to the record and the ir­reg­u­lar rhythms and flashes of sym­phonic metal add to the ex­cite­ment. While most of the ma­te­rial doesn’t break the five-minute mark, Sarke do pack plenty of ideas into the black-, doom-, thrash- and trad-flavoured pro­ceed­ings and they’re not afraid to take a risk (par­tic­u­larly on Upir, which mashes up ex­treme metal with Deep Pur­ple).

Ju­tul is a big mo­ment on the record and sees them ex­pand their sound with the help of guest vo­cal­ist (and ac­tress) Lena Fløit­moen. Start­ing out as an eerie folk song, the track takes you on a trip through icy waste­lands and an­cient burial grounds with mourn­ful riffs and strings guid­ing the way. Knife­hall is an­other high­light and is a bullish, short, sharp, shock to the sys­tem that draws heav­ily on Motör­head for in­spi­ra­tion. Vo­cal­ist Noc­turno Culto swaps his trade­mark frost-tinged croak for a (slightly) warmer, whiskey-soaked bel­low that Lemmy Kilmister would be proud of and the neck-both­er­ing num­ber al­ready sounds like a killer pit an­them.

Sarke pre­pare to de­fend them­selves from the ar­rows of time

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