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SarcÃ³fago - Nights in Hell
Review: Like early life stirring in a small pond on one of billions of planets, the music of Sarcofago emerges from nothingness into whirling altitudinal changes of abstractly sculpted riffs sequenced by unendingly violent and natural, warlike rhythm. It is the most primal of all black metal forms with a spirit matching its creation in a concentration unique to this particular period of the band, after the release of INRI and before time and touring wore them down.
Buzzsaw power chording alongside more complex chord voicings and single-note lead rhythm playing guide song development in the changing language of riff in a matrix of possibilities. The tugging, pooling, overflowing order in rhythm reduces listener focus to the immediate. Drums flatly cover the action and vocals garnish with howling and eroded screams a colossus of battering rhythm. The harsh rippling of vocal tone and the eruptive whipping shrieks which nurture this music are unique to the extravagance and transparent natural sense to the deliberate excess of this style. Songs using two riffs and a handful of transitional phrases enrage an aura of dementia borne by the image and rough texture of this band.
The nature of live recordings is here in a few errors and an unsteadiness in rhythm playing which allows the listener to see the conflict within artist accomplishing his task, yet this gives additional depth to the masterfully conceived anthems of blasphemy and illicit adventure that composed the album "INRI" and previous/following works. Brief introductions of a cappella apostasy break the surface for corrosive and virulently alienated music.
Where most powerful, this music uses a muscular rudimentary riff creation facility on par with that of Sodom to fuse primordial harmony and structure into expressive shapes that like Rorsach inkblots pattern triggers in consciousness. Its insistent and yet degradative, abrasive rhythm and the geometrically unsteady yet harmonically secure tone-centric guerrilla riffing that pervades this conquers all doubt with pure inventivity. Sarcofago during their most prolific period influenced a range of composers including the black metal scene in Norway, who followed the 1987 release of "I.N.R.I" with explorations in a similar sound and technique.