Sahg - III
You can hardly accuse Sahg of being the most original of bands, taking their cue as heavily as they do from the proto heavy metal and hard rock that was all rage in the early 70s. But these Norwegians do a fine job of it, crafting nine great slabs of doomy goodness for their third album - appropriately entitled III - filling it with monstrous riffs and belting vocals. Both opener ‘Baptism Of Fire’ and ‘Mother’s Revenge’ in particular sound (perhaps too much) like Black Sabbath in their pomp, with lead singer Olav Iversen in the latter especially sounding eerily similar to Ozzy at his wailing best.
But as enjoyable as III is to listen to, it is very hard to get overly excited. Upon repeated listenings as you can’t ignore the nagging feeling that it’s all been done before – and better. Even the changes in pace across III are lifted right out of the Sabbath handbook; you have the fast and punchy single, here in the guise of ‘Downward Spiral’, right down to the funeral dirge in the form of closing number ‘Spiritual Void’.
But it’s not just Black Sabbath that Sahg have plundered for their sound as elements of the likes of Deep Purple creep into ‘Burden’; and there’s even a touch of Judas Priest working its way into ‘Denier’. And so we are back at the central problem again that whilst listening to III you are constantly deciphering from which bands Sahg have taken the various components herein from, which ultimately spoils what is almost, but not quite, a very good album.