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Sammath - Dodengang
Review: Because Sammath Sammath entered metal at zero hour for its fundamental confusion, the band was perceived more as a war metal band than as a melodic black metal band that extensively uses violent death metal riffing to offset its melodies, which are longer and more complex than most black metal but do not stray to the wandering stage of bands like Summoning.
Dodengang shows the fusion of the style of earlier Sammath, which came more from the triumphant black metal camp, and the intensive death metal style shown on the second album, but loses many of the outright speed metal influences in favor of earlier frenetic death metal ideas. This creates songs like a landscape where Sammath marshalls its short blasting riffs like soldiers and charges them into a chaotic conflict, from which emerges (like the conclusions of history) a more elegant abstraction that unites the parties fighting into a new form.
This protean tendency makes it hard to grasp Sammath as the usual riff/chorus circular composition of "black metal". On Dodengang, song form follows function. While much of each song is the collision of warlike riffs in something that resembles verse/chorus, internal tributaries emerge before the conclusory material raises its head. This does not always happen at the same point in the song; it varies with what is being expressed. This gives each song its individual topography, but shows more streamlining and integration than on the previous album.
Conventional in terms of mechanics, Sammath is strongest in melodies and despite having strong one- and two-chord rhythm riffs, is most notable for its longer melodies than the shorter riffs which wisely are placed into roles instead of made the focus. The explosive vocals of the last album have become a restrained but more vicious shriek underneath riffcraft and song assembly that strikes the right balance of aggression and sentiment for war music. When heard in the twilight of the human soul, Dodengang is a bidding adieu to a world in case all is lost, and then a return to battle.