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Semargl - Attack On God - 2006 - Deathgasm Records

Track Listing
1. Renunciation Of God
2. Pure Hatred
3. Technology Of Baphomet
4. God-Crushing Hammer
5. Falling
6. Jesus - Insect
7. Sign Of Chosen Names
8. The Cut Up Dream
The physical image of a band is generally a poor thing to base one’s critical opinion upon, but when that image is as forceful and conclusive as that of Semargl, not ‘judging the book by its cover’ is a challenge. So, unfortunately, Semargl will likely be lumped in with Impaled Nazarene, Ragnarok, and all the other bandolier-toting, pistol-sporting, and god-hating black metal bands playing fierce and unoriginal black metal, when in reality they are surprisingly different.

At times, it’s difficult to even call this black metal at all. After one sifts through their treble-heavy production, high shrieked vocals, and the strophic minor chords (all orthodox techniques), there is a serious death metal foundation to a number of these songs. The second to last song exhibits nearly no black metal traits at all, instead favoring a Cattle Decapitation style vocal approach over a nearly Immolation-styled march tempo.

Semargl also include a strong keyboard presence, further complicating this already unpredictable potpourri. Sometimes the keys fulfill a simple, substantiating role, fleshing out the verses with background ambience or syth strings, but more than a few songs end with lengthy classical motives that bear nearly no resemblance to their first half. The final track of ‘Attack on God’ is in fact fully dedicated to the keyboardist, or pianist in this instance, (much as the penultimate track is dedicated to a purely Death Metal track), playing an impressive original solo composition.

Yet sometimes Semargl still manage to fade into the background. It is not that they lack interesting textures or a varied approach—all the elements mentioned above are easily noticeable in even the most purely black metal songs on ‘Attack on God —but rather that their songwriting is not yet at a highly developed level. They have the necessary tools and the will to write compelling, unusual music, but the aptitude is still developing.

Orthodox fans of any of these included genres—death metal, symphonic and standard black metal all—may well take issue with this release for its arguable inconsistency, but as metal’s fanbase becomes ever more adaptable to multi-faceted and well-versed musicians, Semargl are more likely to be commended for being 'ahead of the curve', if not necessarily 'ahead of their time'.

--Etiam 01.08.07

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

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