Review Summary: Strange name, but great 70's/80's style metal.
Ahhh... Sahg. I can't say enough good things about this band. In my eyes, their music is pure gold. It is surprising to find that nobody has yet reviewed this fantastic album. There is something definitely in the waters of Norway. The music scene there is quite varied if you look hard enough. All of the tough-guy black metallers have some dynamics to them. Often their side projects prove to be a bit more interesting than their mainstay bands. Sahg is one such example of said side projects (which appears to be much more than that for these guys these days). I'll spare you the history of the band members and leave that up to the reader to research if you're intrigued.
Sahg's third album starts off with a quiet acoustic piece. Nothing fancy, but a great way to start the proceedings. Then comes the one-two punch of “Baptism of Fire” and “Mortify”. “Baptism” starts off with a crunching riff and continues to pound at you. “Mortify” is pure Ozzy worship. That is not a bad thing. Although the song has its roots firmly planted in Mr. Osborn's early works, it still maintains its own identity. Olav Iversen isn't a dead ringer for Ozzy and to these ears sounds a bit better. “Mortify” is quite possibly the best Sahg song out of all three of their albums; just a fantastic chorus.
I don't want to go into a song-by-song thing, but after “Mortify” the album turns into a doomier affair. Yes, there are some slow, doomy songs (i.e. “Mother's Revenge”), but the album as a whole keeps a nice pace. The songs are varied and the album gives you the peaks and valleys that a good album should. Certainly not one dimensional. Guitarist, Thomas Tofthagen (also of Audrey Horne), has a smooth delivery with his solos and he knows how to write a riff. The rhythm section (which includes King of Gorgoroth fame) does a great job of holding down the fort. They don't go for anything fancy; they just keep the music flowing.
All-in-all, Sahg III is a superb album. If you're a fan of 70's style doom with a bit of early 80's metal thrown in the mix, then this album and band is for you. Make no mistake, this band fires on all cylinders. The production is pristine without sounding too modern; it has that analog feel to it. It's not too clean, but not too dirty either. It nails the vibe for which this band appears to be reaching.
I can't say enough good things about this band and this album. Quite simply, they just know how to write great songs. No outside writers, no “helpers”, just a band writing exciting and original material together. Do yourself a favor and give these guys a listen. I really don't think you will be disappointed if you like your metal in this particular vein.