Ah yes, they still exist. Bands that waste no time and just try to bludgeon you into submission with their mighty hammer of excellent blackened alloy. Blast beats that rumble comfortably across yer stomach, pitch-black tremolo fests, and rasps that scrape about yer earphones like so many pointed fingernails on a blackboard.
And I am not talking about these copycats that just go ahead, strum wildly on their downturned guitars, and try to hypnotize ye with needless drum work. The elaborate RMR selection process will only weed them out and show them the exit door out back. The one that you should never take because you won’t ever know what lurks behind it. Why? Because nobody ever returned once they stepped over that threshold.
Saille appeared on our metal radar in 2017 with their record Gnosis. An excursion into bible territory, away from their Cthulhu-infested bouts of insane storytelling. A piece that we already found pretty compelling.
Now here, they reappear in 2021 with V, their fifth album1) with a pretty hefty tracklist. And now they’re back with lyrics that deal in – and I quote – “…the fearful, the uncanny, and the weird.” So, gone are all those complicated spiritual truths.2) And in come some fearful stories, bashfully told in a way that the brave listener should look forward to enjoying. Or should they?
Because there’s that distinct need to morph into a darker version of themselves. That’s at least what the band professed at some time. So, after a few ups and downs, Saille felt a distinct need to burrow deeper into the pit and go harsher, darker, and more metal than they were before.
Well, the least we can say, number five here did surely not lose any of its predecessor’s oomph. If anything, they went for moar of everything. And in the process, they didn’t only just boost the juice into outer space, but truly improved on their musical prowess. So much so that we had to fasten our seatbelts first before proceeding with this review.
You’ll indeed get an overheated mixture of Darkend, Rotting Christ, and – yes – some Carach Angren at times. In other words, they doubled down in blackened song structures and – for sure – became a tad more ritualistic in their approach. And all of this descends into a red-hot mix of tastily blackened Melodic Death Metal, down to daemonic Black Metal at certain points. In other words, you pretty much get Extreme Metal at its finest.
Now, Suffering Sanctuary wastes no second to start the record with a full-frontal attack. That’s the kind of takeoff that we truly enjoy. No weird pseudo-classical excursions, just brutal metal straight up. Yet, V is not only incessant metallic brutality. The band merged Black and Death Metal with Post Black and truly weird bouts of ambients and acoustic.
That, and Jesse Peetoom‘s dark monologues, growls, and croaky clear vocals will give you enough variation to keep things spicy. And let’s not forget the delicious solos that suddenly turn up when there should be none. But never mind those tired stereotypes, just go right at them. That’s a quirk of Saille‘s prowess that already got high marks on Gnosis, by the way.
And once we arrived at the multilayered daemonic growls on Baleful Beauty, we were really sold. We’ll even forgive them the monologue in the middle somewhere because Reinier Schenk‘s solo blew us off our chairs later.
Only, there’s one issue with the number five. The folks over at Saille have that tendency to growl the hell out of everything. And the RMR crew often has trouble understanding all that prose. It’s a problem with all sorts of Extreme Metal genres, by the way. The artists concoct elaborate musings, yet nobody really understands them, because – you know – growls.3) Just sayin’.
So, RMR over here just went full tilt for the screaming, the wild riffs, solos, and other shenanigans. And V positively gorges with them. Saille is a band to our taste. Red-hot rusty metal with meaty daemonic growls, otherworldly riffs, and an overheated drive towards the extreme that really hits home. In other words, their statements that they improved their metallic trade to new heights, pierced that particular bullseye straight. Mission fucking accomplished, as we say.
So, a mighty high-five goes to Saille. This record truly warmed our frozen lost souls with its hellish fire. V is one giant step up from an already pretty sturdy Gnosis. A piece that often comes at an intensity that nears the heated amps Anaal Nathrakh usually throws at us. In short, this is pretty much the hottest Extreme Metal record that we discovered in 2021 so far.
So, if you are into the extremes of the blackest metal underground, then this piece should live in your library. Get some.
Get dat tune: