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Review by SadoMaster Rattenkönig

Sad – Misty Breath of Ancient Forests

Record Label: Purity Through Fire

Year: 2020

Rating: 8.5/10

This Is Black Metal. The name of our Webzine immediately jumped to my mind as soon as I listened to this, seventh studio effort for the Greek band Sad, made up of Ungod and Nadir, authors from the very first works of a primordial and extremist Black Metal that mixes fury with poignant melancholy. In fact, leaving out the first album, far from excellent in my opinion, starting from the next A Curse In Disguise, this team found the right direction, thus never making a mistake as far as I am concerned, always managing to match the same musical style with the high quality, as regards even the minor releases (listen to the split Fury Of The Doomsday Apostles with the Teutonic band Sarkrista to believe).




So here we have what is mine embodies the most uncompromising spirit of the musical genre so dear to us: listen to the wicked and at the same time melodic, but also painful and at times epic “Self Hatred” that shows off a particular “in your face” side towards the end through a simple but effective riff that could be out of place with the rest of the track, but not surprising for those who know the solutions of the genre adopted by the band and are not just an initiative to their listening. The Sad elements, in this song, are all already there.


We continue to the great with the desperate “Enjoy Your Pettiness” in which the band unleashes its most touching riffs: personally the side of their sounds that I prefer, which I often venture to define a “Speeded Depressive Black Metal”, that consists of pressing drum tempos and tremolo picking riffs that weave metrics steeped in despair and crying ache for living. A shower of rain introduces the first part of the title track “Misty Breath of Ancient Forests (Part I)”, another typical Sad song that alternates melancholy with evilness, proposing one of the most inspired riffs of the band, often and willingly embellished by the captivating melodic vein.

With a shower of rain, it ends as it started to leave room for the hypnotic and disturbing beginning of “White Death” which immediately enters the head so much it manages to hypnotize with that monochord guitar: what you seem to heis Forgotten Woods in darker and more evil key. It seems to listen to a Scandinavian Black Metal song halfway between Norwegian and Finnish, certainly not a novelty for those who know Sad well. Personally one of the best songs not only of the album, but of their entire discography.


The following “Hellish Ride” begins with the same final chord of the song, introduced by arpeggios with bell sounds and a double-snare drum pattern that creates tension. What follows recalls the Polish Black Metal Mgła style with their distinctive melodic touch, but soon resumes the Scandinavian Black Metal attack, this time in a Norwegian key and at times Black ‘n Roll recalling bands like Taake and Mork. I point out the melody part of a monochord guitar that strikes as a dazzling glow as soon as it enters, very simple but beautiful. The second part of the song is more weeping and pressing drum times, as the trademark of the band. The ending is characterized by a d-beat drum rhythm and a cheeky riff. Surely the episode that more than any other would be suitable for headbanging under a stage.


Then comes the turn of “Misty Breath of Ancient Forests (Part II)”, the second part of the title track that begins by posing in a threatening way and then churns out more introspective riffs among which, some of these, are performed on different drum rhythms. The last “Hades Gazing” is the song that involved me the least, given despite being in perfect line with the other songs I do not feel imbued with the same emotional charge while offering good arpeggios topped with tremolo riffs.


However, it remains to be considered a valid track, unlucky for the simple fact of being in the midst of pearls of much greater intensity and feeling. But this is only a personal opinion. Compared to the previous and equally optimal work Utter Nihil Worship, Misty Breath Of Ancient Forests must be recognized as a great step forward in terms of the quality of the vocals as well as a cleaner production thanks to which all the elements are well audible, which only does that raise the vote. It was time for the prestigious label Purity Through Fire to take Sad under its wing, as they deserve much more notoriety given the musical quality offered. Fans of other Greek bands such as Dødsferd, Isolert and Human Serpent will find their match here. This Is Black Metal, dear readers. The best you could find around.


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