Zloslut – Sahar

Zloslut is a Serbian Black metal that initially consisted of sole founding member Agnarion who had produced all the records by himself but here on Sahar, Agnarion is joined by a full band that changes the dynamic of this album compared to previous works. All the previous rough edges have been rounded out from the production all the way to the riffs themselves. While this does create a certain amount of sterility, it also allows the band the freedom to explore and to develop their own style.

Here we are presented with long epic songs that each start with a motif that develops into the central motif before then playing with a secondary motif and utilizing variations of the central motif to move each composition forward. Though this is obvious it still works as the melodic narrative structure is fully understood and used to its full potential. There is an impressive level of technicality and understanding of musical theory that never comes into opposition with what the compositions attempt to portray. The lead guitar that tends to appear doesn’t play solos in the traditional but just seeks to add a bit of color on top of the riffs with simple melodies that reinforce the mood of the songs.

“The Quest” shows a central motif that could have been taken from King Diamond’s material that evolves into a longer musical phrase before being deconstructed into a tremolo picked section and then alternates between those two ideas but subtly modulates them at every turn while keeping the note and chord selection almost intact but playing with the order of the notes and the tempos to represent the twists and turns of the composition. The lightning fast speed of the initial motif slowly grinds to a halt as the song feebly concludes. A great song that doesn’t achieve any form of conclusion and fades away instead of leaving a lasting impression. This is the main issue with Sahar, none of the pieces here climax or end adequately for such grandiose and epic Black metal. There is a sense of direction within each song and in the album as a whole but as none of the tracks end well, the lines between separate songs do tend to become blurry. “Become the Beyond” is the concluding track on this album and also the longest, clocking in at just under twelve minutes and possessing the most expansive set of ideas including an incredible middle passage that works with one guitar galloping through a long chord progression and the other playing a short sequence of chords higher up on the register. Here Zloslut had all the tools to charge victoriously to a revelation but build this section timidly into the central motif before closing out on a previous tremolo picked riff to finally end the album with some keys. “To Break the Circle” has some fantastic Mayhem like ideas that are disrupted by a wah-wah drenched lead guitar and excessive ornamentation before once again the uninspired finish to the song.

While there is nothing exceptional and a few problems plaguing the album, Zloslut still manage to surprise in creating an enjoyable Black metal album that shows excellent compositional ability but is hampered by its obedience to the Finnish style and the band’s inability to finish a song. Zloslut have all the ability to make something truly great if they allowed themselves to truly push themselves as far as possible. For now this is a good listen for those seeking new Black metal free of trends and other related idiocy.

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6 thoughts on “Zloslut – Sahar

  1. Frozenlake says:

    Great example of straightforward BM that manages to be surprisingly enjoyable, as opposed to much lauded acts (Gaerea, Funeral Mist…) who only manage to bore and bewilder.
    Thanks Nick.
    If you could only tone down the contempt factor (“Black metal free of trends and other related idiocy”) it would only make reading your pieces more enjoyable and your points more convincing. The pervasive sneer around here that really detracts from thinking about the true facts.

    1. ignominious says:

      Seems like an excellent concluding line, given the writer and his audience.

      Also, if you’re above being contemptuous toward the “Funderground”, kudos.

    2. When scrolling through the promos we receive, one quickly realizes that BM has become retarded and very few can do it properly. Zloslut does it well while incorporating more modern techniques. It’s hard to not have contempt when almost everything is worthless.

      1. Frozenlake says:

        I have not enjoyed a new BM release recently as much as this one, inability to finish the songs notwithstanding. The riffing has that dissonant musical quality that does not indulge in simply stacking up minor seconds for the sake of being grating or “original”, but instead brilliantly uses the full narrative and emotional power of the tensions to move forward the musical discourse and create an engaging work of art. Thanks again for putting this on my radar.

  2. Gwup says:

    It’s ALRIGHT, the parts where the guy does the anguish moaning wail vocals is so cringe inducing and takes me out of the song. I don’t like a lot of black metal in general, for modern this is good alongside SDG, but it’s merely people who are decent musicians not being overtly predictable. The fire is gone never to return for black metal.

    1. Flying Kites says:

      https://cromlechdoom.bandcamp.com/track/infamous-a-sos-traettores-ii

      How of this initial wail beginning this song on the Cromlech/Infamous split, Hammer of Triumph. Does it not ignite a youthful passion?

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