SAURON RELEASE THEIR LEGENDARY DEMO 'THE BALTIC FOG' AND LATEST ALBUM 'WARA!' ON VINYL 27th February 2017
The hugely innovative and influential Sauron, who formed out of the ashes of Malleus Maleficarum, were one of the first Polish bands to introduce Pagan Black Metal to their local Polish scene at their inception back in 1991.
Their second demo, 1995s 'The Baltic Fog', was then and still is now a landmark masterpiece of Black Metal excellence and never got the recognition it should have. Thankfully it's finally getting the attention it deserves, being rereleased on Vinyl, limited to 200 copies through Wheelwright Productions. 2016 did see the band re-release 'The Baltic Fog' on tape through Witches Sabbath Records and The Land Of Dead Sun.
It is a superb Black Metal album, with a raw sound built from swathes of intense and unrelenting black riffing that has a dirty hypnotic quality to its construct, mostly mid tempo, although things do get a bit more manic in the second half of 'In The Shadow Of Svantevit'. When the pace ramps up, there's a constant and consistent driving force behind the sound with drum work that does what's needed, pummelling when required with just the necessary flourishes without dominating or overpowering the sound.
The vocals are excellent, rasping, vitriolic and downright evil. When I think of classic Black Metal 'The Baltic Fog' is exactly what I have in mind; a superb listen end to end.
'The Baltic Fog' Tracklisting:
In the Glare Of The Black Candles
The Baltic Fog
In The Shadow Of Svantevit
The Deepest Night Of Arkona
Fast forward twenty or so years, and several active and inactive periods, to the most recent offering from Sauron, 2016s 'Wara!', their third full length released in an intensely busy period for the band that spanned eighteen months, also being given the vinyl treatment through Witching Hour Productions.
'Warra!' is another superb release, excellent for different reasons. There are crucial, subtle changes in the sound to this album, which contains five brand new tracks, along with a Bathory cover. It still harks back to the excitement of Black Metal of the early 90s; there's still an essential raw edge to the atmospheric yet heavy riffing and the vocal delivery is still raw and vitriolic but there's more of a depth and tightness to the sound.
There's also a slight melodic edge giving more flow also as well as a very discrete progressive quality and some beautiful chunks of haunting yet powerful lead work. I do like their treatment of the Bathory cover, 'Enter The Eternal Fire', from the iconic 87 release 'Under The Sign Of The Black Mark'. Sauron's version has a quicker tempo than the original but captures that dark malevolent atmosphere perfectly.
Pergrubia 997 (chwała obrońcom prawiary)
Powrót na Czarcie Bagna
Enter The Eternal Fire' (Bathory cover)
The cover artwork for 'Wara!' is by Robert A von Ritter and mentalporn.com was responsible for the layout and the rest of the graphics. It was recorded at FFF Studio in Radom, Poland and mastering took place at Satanic Audio by Haldor Grunberg (Thaw, Mentor) and will be available through the record label's webstore.
Both of these albums should be of great interest to fans of bands such as Bathory, Immortal/Abbath, Enslaved or Hades Almighty. They make a very enjoyable listen and although the Sauron sound has matured with time it is every bit as vital as it was back in 85.