Sargeist
The Rebirth Of A Cursed Existence

Though I usually don’t “do” compilation albums, this recent string of bands releasing their rare / hard to find / split / demo tracks on sets of CDs has been very enjoyable for me. Relapse is shortly releasing a 3CD set from Horseback (pre-ordered), Gilead Media has been slowly hinting at a 3CD set compiling all the split, demo, and cover tracks from Thou (yes please!), and now World Terror Committee has released The Rebirth Of A Cursed Existence, a compilation of everything that was previously offered only as bonus tracks or on vinyl or tape by Black Metal greats Sargeist.

Those unfamiliar with the band can expect late ’90s Euro Black Metal rife with satanic imagery and lyrics. Everything has been remastered from the original recordings to keep the audio quality consistent as well. It certainly hasn’t been overdone, nothing is sparkling and pristine, but I almost always fail to see the point of remastering. Short of helping the artist more fully realize a vision that they may not have had the technology or money for originally, I don’t think it adds anything to most releases. Especially on a Black Metal album where production can really lend to the aesthetic.

The fifth track, “Cursed Be The Flesh I Have Spared” is a bonus track from the Satanic Black Devotion LP which is my favorite release by Sargeist, so it is of little wonder this track is one of my favorites on the compilation. Very ’90s styled Black Metal with a slight punk edge, Hoath Torog’s signature throat shredding shrieks, and the aforementioned cold-ish production make this song, and the record itself, right up my alley.

Track 7 is “Unholy Black Happiness,” and it shreds. It’s a bit of a deviation from the standard Sargeist fare as it is probably the slowest song on the album. Of course little new ground is tread here, but the main riff is a simple but memorable mid-tempo, full chord tremolo, headbang worthy jaunt that sticks around through the first few minutes of the song. At 3:25 an abrupt shift throws an off time wrench in the works that is short lived but great, and feeds into the plodding heaviness that feeds most of the rest of the song.

“Dark Embrace” is track 11 and was originally found on the 7” of the same name from 2008. It definitely is one of the standout tracks on this record. It is a cold mid-tempo number with a repetitive nature. There are 3 main riffs that find their way in and out of the song multiple times, and all of them very memorable. Opening with a great single note hammer on that stands way out in the mix, transitioning to the chainsaw buzz and blast beats you know are never far away, and a crash heavy stomping riff that seems to be the bridge all amalgamate to become a modern throwback song I will be returning to again and again.

Being a fan of Sargeist, this is definitely something I was excited to see. You will certainly not be disappointed if you already like what you’ve heard and decide to pick this up. If you don’t have it all already, this 72 minute ride is a worthy addition. If you’re just starting off, The Rebirth Of A Cursed Existence is nothing that will deter you from becoming a fan, but as with most compilations it is a little disjointed and lacks the flow and narrative that I love when listening to a full-length release all the way through.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick E
September 9th, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Sargeist is awesome.


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