Premiere: Sargeist’s “Feeding The Crawling Shadows”

Finland’s Sargeist was born as a solo project of Horna’s Shatraug, a filthy sideproject from the riff master of an incredibly filthy band that was and still is one of Finland’s best black metal bands. Later, Shatraug invited members of Behexen, another band that could lay claim to be one of Finland’s finest black metal acts, to join him in Sargeist (Shatraug would also in turn join Behexen). Since then, unsurprisingly, Sargeist has itself become one of Finland’s best black metal bands and has garnered a cult following. In 2009 (according to Metal Archives), Sargeist added a member of Horna on bass—one big happy Finnish family.

Sargeist often seems like one of the realest black metal bands out there. The music sticks to a raw, oldschool and unadulterated take on the genre that deftly blends in big, lush and emotive riffs. Without too many bells and whistles, Sargeist is also one of the catchiest black metal bands out there, too—give “Empire of Suffering,” the opener from Sargeist’s last (2010) album Let the Devil In, a go if you haven’t.

The production value was kicked up a notch on Let the Devil In compared to Sargeist’s first two records, and Feeding The Crawling Shadows, Sargeist’s new album due out on March 31 on W.T.C. Productions, dials it back down. This is misanthropic, Satan-centric black metal—ugly, arrogant and powerful. The whole album has a decidedly necro sound to it, as if covered in putrid rot. Vocalist Hoath Torog, also the lead singer of Behexen, employs a deep, disturbing guttural bellow in addition to his shrieks on Feeding The Crawling Shadows, and the album is better for it. Give the title track and album opener “Feeding The Crawling Shadows” a listen.

If you are in or can make it to New York on June 28-30 of this year, you can catch Sargeist and Behexen at Martyrdoom Festival at Saint Vitus bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Tickets are available.

— Wyatt Marshall