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ALBUM REVIEW: Gnosis – Saille

Belgian black metal band SAILLE have returned and they are gracing us with the new album Gnosis, which is full of powerful and dark black metal. The album is inspired by several creation myths and based around the concept of the Promethean ideal and the Luciferin counterpart with songs about Bene Ha’ Elohim which were fallen angels and general referencing to the Old Testament. SAILLE originally started as a one man solo studio project by Dries Gaerdelen who has now left the band but this is no cause for concern as the five piece are living up to and exceeding their past expectations. With help from the Wieslawscy brothers at Hertz Studio in Poland who have worked with the likes of BEHEMOTH so it’s to no surprise that this album is solid throughout.

The opening track Benei Ha’elohim begins with an echoing and atmospheric monk like chanting, followed slowly by an eerie tinny riff which fades into play sounding completely haunted. This is then accompanied by a strong, heavy drum and double bass pattern for a short section before dropping into the songs main riff, which pauses momentarily while the suspense grows and you wait for Dennie Grondelaers‘ vocals to finally kick in after one whole minute of anticipation. SAILLE then continue to carry the song with this spooky main riff while making great use of the double bass sound enhanced with flourishes throughout of intense blast beats that really make the song have that classic black metal feel. This feeling survives all the way to the end of the song where to band choose to end it on a dramatic halt.

The song Genesis 11;1-9 starts off with a palm muted riff that sounds plain evil helped by the sounds of a bell in the background. This combined with the sound of the drums hitting the ride occasionally tells you that the song is about to accelerate any moment, and it really does straight into fast double pedals and Grondelaers‘ voice begins to sound somewhat like MAYHEM‘s Feezing Moon. All these features put together gives the song the vibe of an evil spell being chanted which then falls nicely into blast beats and shrieking. The riffs on this track are melodic, evil and heavy. This sounds continues on this path of destruction throughout, the drums revert back to using the double bass pedal for a short section before joining back with the main body this is a very nice fill that adds a short break that’s makes it sound all the better, the song then slows right down to make you feel like you are walking through a dark and cold forest. It then hits back with the main blast beat sections, this song then finishes with bells toward the end.

Another song that stood out on the album while still sticking to the albums creation myth concept was Thou, My Maker. It begins with heavy ringing guitars and a slower drum beat accompanied with faster double bass, making you instantly move your head. Then transitioning into blast beats and tremolo picking, the guitars then begin to take a more melodic route for a short section before joining back to main body of the track, then transitioning back again for an epic guitar solo. There is a great moment in this song that has a very heavy palm muted sound to the guitars also with added deep growls making Dennie Grondelaers sound like some form of Orc, it then slows down towards the end of the song which makes for a great ending to any masterpiece.

SAILLE have raised the bar with Gnosis, they’ve kept the speed of their album Eldriteh and the intense feel of their second album Ritu. The whole album flows so naturally and it’s brilliantly done with such power, strength and confidence. The unfortunate departure of a founding member has not hindered SAILLE as they have proved with Gnosis that they are capable of making one of the best black metal albums released so far this year.

Rating: 8/10

Gnosis - Saille

Gnosis is out now via Code666.

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