Semargl – Attack on God

semargl_052206_attackWhat do you know… A Ukrainian band that DOESN’T have an active member of Hate Forest, or Drudkh in it! This could be the reason why Semargl leans towards more of a mainstream form of black metal with some Dimmu Borgir influences (mostly in the synth work and overproduced sound of this album). As this album progresses, more of a “brutal” death metal edge enters into Semargl’s often synth soaked and Swedish sounding (ie: melodic) blackness. From soaring, tremolo harmonies, only to degenerate into moshably crunched out rhythms where the vocals dip into cupped mic barking, the cross-genre pollination could have made more of an impact if the whole of this album wasn’t so predictable. “Attack on God” benefits from the best production that money can buy, placing the right amount of emphasis on the often-impressive level of musicianship and overall technicality of this band. The slick production greatly points to this bands desire to allow the synth breakdowns where clean guitar lines offer a pleasing sense of dynamics up against the mounting brutality to be felt and attempt to lead their musical ideas into a more high-brow level of experimentation. A scathing high-end shriek and all the top notch playing found on “Attack on God” couldn’t keep my attention span from wandering. There are some definite good ideas on display here, but there’s no real identity that Semargl can call their own. One final point in this bands favor… At the 7:36 time sig of the track “God – Crushing Hammer”, there lies this amazing outro where a subtle synth line and a very depressing clean guitar rhythm empower some very tasteful/emotive solo work. I ended up skipping back 4 times just to listen to this short, though amazing segment of music. I guess I wish there was more of that on display here to save this album from the fate of a borrowed sound and style. -Marty

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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