SARKE - Vorunah

Sarke - Vorunah

8 songs
37:33 minutes
***** *****


The cover of Sarke’s debut CD could be from just another Nordic folk metal band, there is more than meets the eye behind this new band. Insiders know that Sarke has been involved in Tulus, Old Man’s Child, Sensa Anima and Khold. On Vorunah, he is in charge of guitar, bass and drums. The vocals have been done by no other than Nocturno Culto of Norwegian pioneering black metal band Darkthrone.

This personnel may hint at an all star black metal project, but that is only partly true. Sarke are darker, more hypnotic and less complicated, quoting Black Sabbath, Candlemass and Celtic Frost as their major influences. To get the sincere possible sound, they recorded the album in an Oslo based studio with analogue equipment, and only used instruments that were at least thirty years old.

The opener Primitive Killing fits its title, and thanks to the bizarre guitar sound, I felt instantly teleported back to the good old times of Celtic Frost. The guitar has been tuned rather low to make for an incredible doom feeling. Some tracks, like Old, use an ancient organ that creates a spooky sound. Doom and atmospheric elements alternate with groovier parts, so that there idle or repetitive moments don’t even have a chance to happen. Undisputed highlight is the title track which shows the band at their most complex, resulting in a sound not unlike that of defunct Swiss thrashers Coroner. The concluding Dead Universe is staggeringly heavy, allowing Sarke to let it all out and revealing their roots.

Vorunah doesn’t offer anything substantially new, but it’s still an exquisite nostalgic journey back to the dark and weird proto metal days from the late Sixties to the early Eighties. Few other bands excel at this like Sarke. You could contend that you might just as well listen to the original artists, but Sarke do their trick so sincerely and authentically that their debut album begs you to come back for more. In the meantime, Sarke has become a quintet by adding members from Tulus, Dimmu Borgir and Borknagar. This should increase our chances of seeing this great band live.

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