Published Oct 12, 2018In what might be one of the most deceptively quiet and understated releases of the year, Sargeist's latest album is an endlessly listenable tapestry of pure riff addiction and despair, channelling the strengths of second wave black metal, while also reaching elsewhere to fuel their sound.
From start to finish, Unbound stuffs the listener full with affecting riffs, to the point of overload. Running the wire between vastly epic and intimate horror, Sargeist infuse a cinematic quality into every track, evoking themes gothic, tragic and endlessly bleak.
While Unbound is chockfull of gusting blast beats and tremolo picking, the standard black metal traits, Sargeist intercut these expanses with songs like "Hunting Eyes," which opts for a slower march, yet still retains a fervent vitality.
The band also combat monotony in the vocal department, which goes from the most often utilized screeching to a more bemoaned howl or cry. It's a little thing, but it does much to help color Sargeist's compositions with an ever-shifting dynamism.
The title track is undoubtedly the zenith of the album, with a beat and melody that dig so deep into the mind through sheer catchiness that one would be hard pressed to forget it.
Unbound is a must listen for black metal fans. It stands on the frigid foundations of Mayhem and Emperor, while laying into the classic rock tendencies of later Darkthrone at times, giving the album a little more variety than simply an unending plane of tremolo picking and blasts. (World Terror Committee)