Around 2005 Salacious Gods dropped the curtain, “Piene” was released and then came silence. While “Askengris” (1999) and “Sunnevot” (2002) were laced with keyboards, “Piene” had a more direct and harsher approach. Now, with a renewed line up, including Iku-Turso’s Lafawijn on vocals and Fjildslach (Kjeld) on drums, Iezelzward (guitars) has resurrected Salacious Gods back from the dead. After a very long hiatus caused by misfortune, this Dutch Black Metal band shows sign of life with their fourth full length “Oalevluuk” (hence the name because it means old curse). I am curious how this band sounds anno 2023; or maybe I should say 2008 since the material has been gathering dust until now.
When listening to the eight tracks, nine on the compact disc (it contains a bonus track named “Honor Him”) the sound indeed really has changed when you compare it with their debut and its predecessor “Sunnevot”. The input of keyboards is sparce, a few samples can be found, and the sound shows significant resemblances with Swedish melodic Black Metal, meaning that the songs have a healthy dose of melody without forgetting grimness. With English lyrics and Dutch dialect, they deliver their message. Aided with superb artwork and a well-produced record the old gods are returning on the battlefront.
“Oalevluuk” starts with “Rise, Oh Horned One, Rise!”. Expect no intro: just a good mid-tempo riff which builds up to a faster midsection. “Morbid Revelations” is quite a deal faster and has a lot more urgency and drive. The melodic guitar parts are performed quite well and leave you hungry for more.
“Bloedkloete” is slow, threatening and contains some cool Burzum-esque keyboards giving the atmosphere a more sinister tone. The quite lengthy “Devotion” keeps up the same pace and has some memorable riffs in black and roll style but is a little on the long side. Luckily, “Gnosis Of The God Impure” is short, in your face, and shows a deal more aggressiveness. Same can be said with the last three songs. Released as a single “Suhur Mingled With Poison” shows some balls with some harsh riffs combined with melody. “Towards The Darkening Light” and “Oalevluuk” are intense songs portraying Salacious Gods in very good form. The title track closes with great riffs, blasphemous drums, killer vocals and an outro, consisting of piano and martial drum creating a fitting end on this satanic album.
“Oalevluuk” has some memorable tracks and is a solid album. However, this album doesn’t rise above the average of (Dutch) Black Metal releases. It isn’t by any means a bad album but nowadays there is so much quality that my expectations just weren’t met. With solid production and good sense of melody this album contains a lot of solid tracks which are easily, maybe a little too easily, digested. Especially the last tracks show what Salacious Gods is capable of, creating haunting tunes and show the brutal side of this band, but in general, this album is lacking a bit of ferocity. The album is a little to “kind” and clean to my taste. You can hear that there is a lot of experience in this renewed line up, but it’s lacking some boldness in order to push through and rise to epic heights. On the other hand, this album has a certain charm and isn’t by any means a punishment to listen to. So dear reader please listen for yourself. Especially if you are a fan of Nagelfar, Gorgoroth, Watain and other reclaimed orthodox Black Metal acts which do not shun melody.
Score: 7,3 /10
Label: Hammerheart Records
Release date: 6 October 2023
Reviewer: Erik Willems
- Rise, Oh Horned One, Rise!
- Morbid Revelations in Blood and Semen
- Gnosis Of The God Impure
- Honor Him (CD bonus track)
- Sulphur, Mingled With Poison
- Towards The Darkening Light