Saturday 10 December 2022

SAHG - Born Demon (Album Review)

Release Date: 21st October 2022. Record Label: Drakkar Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Born Demon

1. Fall Into The Fire

2. House Of Worship

3. Born Demon

4. Descendants Of The Devil

5. Black Cross On The Moon

6. Evil Immortal

7. Salvation Damnation

8. Killer Spirit (From Outta Hell)

9. Heksedans

10. Destroyer Of The Earth


Olav Iversen - vocals, guitars

Tony Vetaas - bass guitar

Mads Lilletvedt – drums


Sahg is a band who mesmerized me immensely upon the release of their debut, 'I'. This brilliant record is a must in any collection, if you ask me. The follow-up, aptly titled 'II', swayed me but then I lost touch with the band. It wasn't until their fifth opus, 'Memento Mori', that our paths would cross again. Then it took six long years to pass until 'Born Demon' wrapped it's tentacles around us listeners upon it's release in October 2022. Now down to a three-piece with Olav Iversen being the only original member left, this new formation is bloody fantastic. Don't fear that the sound is stripped down to bare basics with a minimized lineup, on the contrary. The music is bottom heavy but nuanced and flows perfectly.

Opener 'Fall Into The Fire' is full speed ahead heavy-ass metal with plenty of hooks. By far the fastest song on the album and pretty damned good. Next up is 'House Of Worship'and it is pummeling, intense and mesmerizing. It drops in pace a bit but stays heavy and catapults it out into the stratosphere. The title track, 'Born Demon' follows being foreboding, lurking and crushingly heavy yet seductive as it lures you in. 'Descendants Of The Devil' starts off with a sinister guitar before launching into a mid-paced tempo. It resembles early-sounding Sahg in the vein of 'Godless Faith'. Brilliant! 'Black Cross On The Moon' retains the mid-tempo pace and is heavy, dejected and foreboding.

'Evil Immortal' is a stomper of a song which sounds like the band is fronted by a young Ozzy. Early-sounding Sahg but evolved reappears on 'Salvation Damnation'. It's crushing yet harmonious filled with killer riffs. 'Killer Spirit (From Outta Hell)' is demonic in approach but melodically heavy with a hint of paranoia lyrically. 'Heksedans' is mesmerizing and captivating as the title suggests, Witch Dance in English. A lot of nice vocal harmonies with a feel of Norwegian folk music, further enhanced since it's sung in the band's mother tongue. 'Destroyer Of The Earth' is slow, crushing and has a strong end-of-time feel, which works well in tandem with the title. Halfway through it picks up pace while still destroying everything with even more ferocity.

I love it when a band keeps moving forward while still retaining the foundation of their music. Sahg has done that on 'Born Demon' although not without going overboard. They have evolved naturally with small yet poignant steps, enough to challenge their supporter base perfectly. I love it and urge everyone out there to check out this amazing band from Norway!

Words by Håkan Nyman

You can buy Born Demon from Drakkar Records now.


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