The RMR crew over here fancies those records with that ‘Out of the Box’ label. Pieces that are difficult to categorize and even more difficult to review. Looks like we prefer a complicated life over here. But just serving the mainstream hasn’t exactly been a match in heaven for this crew. At least for the folks over at the RMR office tower.
But you have to be careful. Once the gilded gates to Weirdijistan are open, there’s usually no holding back. And some of these records will just suck you in with no guarantee that your good-looking ass will be returned in pristine shape.
But you’ve got nothing to worry about with this record, lone musical traveler. The Norwegians of Sarke here have been active since 2008 and have fallen over themselves to strip the mean bloodthirst out of those metallic extremes. Or have they, now? Because we heard some tall tales about that band in the past.
Allsighr here piqued our interest in a somewhat visceral way. The high-pitched solo and sturdy riff right at the start of Bleak Reflections neatly showcases how to capture the listener’s attention. All this goodness comes with some scrimpy blast beats and the bass that tries to rush to the forefront but somehow fails.
A conundrum of sorts, given the frugal offering of barebone riffs, ruffian solos, and ice-cold drumming. Of course, Darkthrone’s Nocturno Culto in the lead with his chilly croak nicely adds to that tableau that seems to step right out of Hel’s realm. He’s been on our mind a lot lately – by the way. As a prime suspect in another secretive project that recently crossed our earphones. But it would be heretical to pry further, right?
Sarke‘s new record here took an interesting direction. Their last offering Gastwerso still contained a lot of Celtic Frost and hidden Black Metal in those bony innards they presented. Yet here, Allsighr seems to escape further into post-land and increased complexity.
And now they truly explore Extreme Metal without that disturbing heaviness. That’s not to say that those metallic bones aren’t there anymore. It’s the extreme part that tries to hide behind a mist of some subdued prog, alt, and some age-old rock influences. Only, it doesn’t succeed quite well enough. The leopard cannot quite change its spots, eh?
In other words, Allsighr truly ventures out in full exploration mode. For example, The Reverberation of the Lost starts comfortably on a sparse offering of blast beat leftovers. But the RMR deckhands truly got a kick out of the Blues Rock solo that hits progressive and psych soundscapes later. By Loki’s miserable minions, that one truly got our attention.
Or take the polar Glacial Casket with its somewhat frozen psychedelic groove. This one would sit as well on a Gojira piece as it does with Sarke here. After listening to it three times in a row, your hand will start to unconsciously rummage about the cupboard to grab that fur hat. And you madly start searching the sky for that Ufo to appear out those yonder cold plains.
Ultimately, it’s this kind of weird cocktail of styles, mixed together helter-skelter that fascinated us on Allsighr. I don’t know what it is, but this is a record that has the ability to keep this reviewer’s attention longer than it should.
Yet, the record savvily blends shiny metallic objects with rocky undercurrents that reach us from the past. Together with forays into prog, alt, and psych soundscapes, the record dutifully feeds our greedy metallic souls and satisfies our other maniacal musical urges at the same time.
Allsighr, a dreamy and true out-of-the-box experience that left us sated like one of those vampires after feeding right before dawn. Let’s just hope there’s no moon out tonight. Bleak reflections might happen, else.