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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews


Sahg II

Review by G. W. Hill

It seems that in terms of Norwegian metal bands, this outfit is a supergroup. That said, I’m not hugely into that country’s music so I haven’t heard any of the bands these guys come from. After listening to this disc, though, perhaps I should do some research. Based on a vintage metal sound this thing rocks. It’s definitely in the general vicinity of stoner rock, but I don’t think I’d put it there. To me that genre tends to be more like space rock in the way the changes are gradual and everything seems to move kind of slow. This is just killer retro metal ala Black Sabbath and others.

Track by Track Review
Ascent To Decadence

A killer metal jam, this has a medium pace and a very retro texture to it. There’s some passionate vocal work and some killer guitar soloing. It’s a great tune.

Echoes Ring Forever
This is meaner than the opener, but no less classic in sound and texture. It’s a real screamer and a highlight of the set. Of course, nothing here is weak. This one has both scorching heavy sections and mellower bits. It shares a lot of territory with stoner rock, but I wouldn’t consider it to be stoner rock. There is a killer uber heavy segment and a pretty balladic one that follows it. The soaring jam late in the piece is rather prog-like and also includes some space rock and psychedelia in it. 
From Conscious Sleep
Dramatic and powerful, this is another cut that has a lot of progressive rock built into it. It’s heavy and also mysterious in a lot of ways. This instrumental (there are some non-lyrical vocals) is less than two and a half minutes in length and is quite cool.
The opening segments on this are very much in a Black Sabbath sort of motif. When it moves out to the verse I’m reminded of Black Sabbath mixed with Led Zeppelin and the vocals are just a little Dio-like. It’s another classic sounding tune. It moves closer to stoner rock later, but again, I think it falls just short of that title because the track is more varied than that. 
Escape The Crimson
A moody balladic piece, this is quite psychedelic/space rock oriented with echoey vocals and music.
This is a fast paced screamer that reminds me a lot of Black Sabbath. It feels like something from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or even Heaven and Hell (if Ozzy were singing on that album).
Wicked Temptress
Alternating between a mellower musical motif and a heavier version of it, this is very dark in texture. Somehow it reminds me a lot of Black Sabbath’s “Psycho Man”. There’s a killer guitar solo on this and it is perhaps the most purely Sabbath-like track on show here.
By The Toll Of The Bell
Screaming out of the gate, this is another pure scorcher. It’s definitely got plenty of Sabbath in its musical mix, but there’s other music there, as well. It reminds me a lot of the hard rocking sections of “Wicked Temptress”. 
A mellower, psychedelically tinged piece, this is a slow moving and very cool number. It’s got healthy amounts of both metal and space rock in its midst.
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Metal/Prog Metal
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