Sahg – “Memento Mori” (Indie Recordings)
With an album title (Latin: remember that you must die) not just reflective of the iconic deaths of Lemmy, Bowie and Frey but at one stage the band itself given the departure of drummer Thomas Lønnheim and founding member Thomas Tofthagen, Norway’s Sahg have truly come back from the brink! Now replaced on guitar by the highly respected Ole Walaunet (Grimfist, God Seed) and drummer Mads Lilletvedt (Byfrost), my immediate thoughts are of the extreme bands these guys have played in comparison to the doom stoner rock that Sahg is more associated with. Well fear not! It’s pretty much the same-o Sahg with Olav Iversen’s wailing Ozzy like vocals, but the guitars definitely now have a metal orientation like on the monstrous riffola of ‘Sanctimony‘, completed by a heavy rhythm and the dark inspirational vibe of death. However, if anything this has made for an even greater contrast with the ambient and psychedelic aspects that sound even more prominent in what must be Sahg’s most mellow song in ‘(Praise The) Electric Sun‘? It’s when they bring it together on ‘Travellers Of Space And Light‘ that man, this new Sahg really impressed me between Iversen’s passionate vocals contrasted by Walaunet’s raw guitar (not to mention that awesome slow, funeral doom like solo!) and Lilletvedt’s tight, hard drum work – brilliant! Not too many bands return from near death with their strongest and heaviest album ever, but the new pysch / metal Sahg do just that in what must be the ultimate salutation to their heroes past!