|Review: Satanic Warmaster - Aamongandr|
Label: Werewolf Records
Year released: 2023
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: January 29, 2023
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Rated 4/5 (80%) (7 Votes)
Satanic Warmaster have been stalwarts of the scene since sole member Werewolf started it back in 1998, but I've never actually gotten around to his work until now. Better late than never, I guess, for while I have no frame of reference for how it compares to earlier works, I can easily say their latest album, Aamongandr, is some killer fucking black metal.
The music is intense and furious in a way that strongly recalls '90s Swedish black metal not too far off from Dark Funeral while still retaining a good deal of melody, which is most evident on the opening one-two punch of "Bafomet" and the blazing, almost mid-period Bathory-esque "Dukes Ride...(of the Spectral Hooves)". "Berserk Death" finds itself somewhere between the previous two tracks and is probably the easiest to get into, and the next two tracks follow this general formula of aggression, melody and speed with just enough going on to keep it from being stale, such as the folky elements of "The Eyes of Satan" and the Impaled Nazarene sentiments of "Darkness...Triumphator". Album closer "Barbas X Aamon" deserves special mention for being much slower and moodier than the rest of the album and for being the best song on the album with its sinister atmosphere and Werewolf's vicious snarls sounding sharper here than elsewhere.
I don't normally do track by tracks, but this is a pretty short album and a great introduction into one of Finland's longest running black metal bands for me, so I'll end here by saying Aamongandr is a fine slice of grim black metal that fans old and new will undoubtedly enjoy.
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