Sarke are a Norwegian band comprised of (former) members from Darkthrone, Susperia, Spiral Architect, Borknagar and Satyricon. An impressive list of bands, so the “supergroup” tag is very much valid here. Oldarhian is the band’s second album and the first to feature the current incarnation of Sarke. Let’s see what the new record has to offer.
Just like on the previous album the music on Oldarhian is firmly rooted in rather primitive black metal from the early nineties, spiced up with influences from seventies rock music and eighties thrash and death metal. Sarke is all about metal played the old school way with a definitive capital O. The song material is as basic and straightforward as they come. It works really well though, especially on Condemned, Pessimist and Flay The Wolf. The latter song has this nifty rock and roll groove to it.
Doom metal is another source of inspiration on Pilgrim Of The Occult, Captured and Burning Of The Monoliths. The occasional guitar solo and a couple of subtle touches on the keyboard give Oldarhian some much needed depth. Paradigm Lost and The Stranger Brew are two other surprisingly catchy black and roll tunes. The rasped vocals by Nocturno Culto give the album a nice dirty edge.
The bare bones production mirrors the primitive character of Oldarhian. Moreover it enhances the old school feel and character of this record.
Oldarhian is in all its simplicity quite a solid effort. Don’t expect any faint hints of technique or progressiveness. It’s simply metal as basic and primitive as it comes, but therefore not less enjoyable.
Written by Raymond Westland