Label: Eternal Death
Bandcamp stream: Link
Oh, this is nasty. Blackened crust is definitely at the stage now where it’s reaching peak mass, and whilst I was initially a huge advocate of the sub-genre (and still am), it’s impossible to deny that an increasing number of bands and releases are missing the edge that initially made the style so appealing. The best crust should take all the harsh edges and nastiness of punk and amplify them; likewise, black metal is an outsider genre, and benefits from retaining that “fuck you” attitude. Perhaps it’s a case of over-saturation or desensitisation, but I’m hearing those qualities in less bands that I’d expect to recently. But on this, the new 7″ by Sangus entitled Saevitia, those abrasive qualities are all present and accounted for, and it makes a wonderfully nasty listen, full of the promise of death and violence.
Whilst some of the more recent and successful releases by blackened crust bands have gained attention by (slightly) cleaning up their sound, Sangus have taken an approach I wish more bands playing this style would, and looked to the likes of Blasphemy and Revenge for inspiration. Amongst the excellent blackened crust stylings, there is more than a hint of Ross Bay Cult brutality and viciousness, and even a hint of the more extreme ends of Japanese hardcore (that they list Kuro as an influence on their Facebook page is definitely in Sangus’ favour). It’s an incredibly vicious combination, and the production is just right for it too, packing a real punch (especially with the bass and drums), whilst managing to keep just enough of the guitars obscured to add a necro feel to proceedings without taking away any of its power – just listen to the guitar line placed in the background during the climax of the title track for a perfect demonstration of this.
Of course, all this would mean nothing if the songs were not up to standard, but rest assured, they most certainly are. Raw, Ross Bay Cult power pushes them along, with the rhythm section doing an excellent job of laying down the bestial foundations of the songs, whilst the guitars add extra brutality, melody, emphasis, and atmosphere as required, and the vocals are raw and hate-filled. It would be easy to caricature these songs as being boneheaded, one-dimensional affairs – and given some of the comparisons made in this review, readers might be forgiven for doing just that – but nothing could be further from the truth. It is clear that thought and time has gone in to crafting these songs, so that they have more than just raw power behind them. And at the end of it all is “Ossos: SSS”, an almost six minute long noise piece that is perhaps the best possible way the EP could have ended.
As should be clear by now, Saevitia is a wonderfully vicious 7″, with the band adding some real bite and power to a sub-genre that is in danger of becoming stale. It’s incredibly intense, never ceasing in its assault for even a moment, and deserves to be heard.