Syn Ze Sase Tri – Zaul Mos

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Label: Code666

First off: that artwork. It continues the themes presented on previous covers but taken to an even higher degree, and it sure is striking, what with it’s crusader style central figure and its heavenly wolves and its general OTT power metal-ness. Yet press play on the album, and the music is just as striking, in a far more impressive manner. Combining symphonic metal with that sense of Transylvanian darkness and mystery that Negura Bunget laid down the template for, as well as a progressive edge that recalls Arcturus, Zaul Mos – the fourth album by Syn Ze Sase Tri – is a grandiose, dramatic album of progressive, pagan black metal that is far more serious and striking than initial reactions to its artwork may suggest.

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Saille – Gnosis

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Label: Code666

In the crowded world of black metal, small changes can make a big difference. Such is the case for Belgian band Saille. Compare the logo on their latest album, Gnosis, with that on previous efforts. It’s more direct, with less superfluous elements. A subtle shift, but one that speaks volumes about the music contained within. This is still epic black metal, as was present on previous albums such as Eldritch and Ritu; but it’s a much more muscular version, hitting harder than ever before. This is black metal that is not content to simply sit and ask questions; it will demand answers, by force if necessary.

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