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Sammath - Triumph in Hatred
Review: With Triumph in Hatred, Sammath both explores past heavy metal influences and ventures into new territory. The result sounds most like the first two albums from this martial band, mixed the grandeur of black metal with the raging rhythm riffs of death metal and the technical flair of later black metal like Kvist that emphasized complex rhythms and sublime melodies.
The abundant and densely textured lead guitar amounts to another layer of composition. Sammath configures songs from the conflict between two or more shorter riffs and then creates a fusion and expansion of those with a longer melody. This can happen multiple times in a song and at almost any point, which allows the band to revisit these expansions and contrast them to the resurgence of other themes. Highly developed leads now insert another layer which comments on the underlying song development while adding a different melodic development of its own.
Magnus Agliareth from Mexican/German black metal collaboration Magnificat offers this powerful lead guitar which resembles the work of Angus Young most among all metal players. It varies pacing, scale and texture frequently and cites from many influences in an intermingled polyglot of its own organization. His leads often resemble human conversation in their tendency to make a statement and then comment upon it, pulling it apart and creating variants of it. These add a depth to the music but also can interrupt the natural flow of energy created by the interplay of riffs.
Triumph in Hatred may baffle its listeners. While it is billed as black metal, on this album the black metal influence is mostly in the melody, with heavy metal taking over the aesthetics and death metal the riff structure. While it preserves the traditional Sammath melodies of mixed wistfulness and cold heartless logicality, lead guitar embellishment humanizes these and expands upon them. Thus Triumph in Hatred requires an investment of time by the listener in letting these pieces unfold, such that their sentiment may be understood and their warlike essence perceive.