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Salacious Gods – Oalevluuk

salacious gods – oalevluuk


It is remarkable to realise that the time that was between the first and last time I heard from Salacious Gods is many times shorter than the time between that last moment and this newest album. My introduction to Salacious Gods was via a compilation CD that included a track from their debut album, ‘Askengris’ (1999), and the last time was a show by them during their tour for what would become their last album, 2005’s ‘Piene’. In that first period of the band’s existence, they were never without controversy; Melodic Black Metal was loved by many, but ridiculed by at least as many, as it was with the entire genre at the time.

Although the band never officially split up, it took the band 18 years to finally come up with a successor for the aforementioned ‘Piene’-album. And, as you know, time can do a lot of things, it heals wounds and softens scars. And that is exactly what it seemed to have done to Salacious Gods and to the genre as a whole. Over the last few years the Melodic Black Metal have regained much of its initial value and dignity. In many reviews before this one I cited that not only some of the older bands were revalued or even reawakened, but the genre as a phenomenon has really been rejuvenated too: lots of older records are being reprinted and many new bands brought new blood.

As a whole, the music certainly falls into better ground now than it did some two decades ago. Musically, on first hearing, perhaps not a whole lot has changed, yet the feeling is definitely different. Finding the real differences almost requires a more in-depth analysis. There are certainly details that set ‘Oalevluuk’ apart from its predecessors, but in the capillaries of the music, the Salacious Gods DNA is still abundantly present. I can make it easy on myself and recap the whole thing by saying that those details are actually summed up most simply as a combination of a whole more mature sound and fuller production.

But then, if we do perform a bit of that analysis, what we mostly hear in 2023 is a band that strikes a better balance between the indeed more melodic elements of old and the more classic Black Metal underlay – in a way this feels like a perfect but far better follow-up to ‘Piene’. That primordial Black Metal basis was always present, but drowned by the thick layers of bombast and melody. Now, through a more open sound, we hear much more detail and the whole thing sounds more modern, with much more emphasis on the riffs, but without losing the catchiness of yesteryear. In the process, new vocalist Lafawijn (Orewoet, Iku-Turso), with his blueprint 90’s rasp, manages to give the music just a bit more venomous character.

As a whole, Salacious Gods manages to fuse all existing and familiar elements into something that sounds many times more mature and intriguing than its three predecessors, from the first half of the 00s, combined. Without wanting to take anything away from the band’s history, it is definitely clear that the musicians have gained so much more experience over the past (almost) 20 years. The occasional contrarian riffs, the catchy but much less simple melodies and the overall more compelling compositions make ‘Oalevluuk’ an unexpected but very welcome, good comeback from a band that for many was probably only a vague memory in the back of their minds.

Hammerheart Records

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