Sagenland – Oale Groond

Band: Sagenland
Title: Oale Groond
Label: Heidens Hart Records
Release date: 15 January 2021
Country: Netherlands
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

Once upon a time, I myself lived in the Netherlands. Although it wasn’t for long, it was still a lovely time in my life where I learned how to mostly ask for food and to celebrate Christmas at the beginning of December instead of the end of it. What else the Netherlands has to offer is great metal and fabulous festivals! So, this week´s pick was an exciting one.

Sagenland released their debut this month titled “Oale Groond”, after having been active for 20 years and only releasing a split in 2005. So, a long silence has been broken.

“Weer thuus” kicks the debut off in a mild manner. Fire cracks in the back as some sort of a horn blows, it creates a menacing feeling of something lurking within the calm, and for a good reason as the coming two tracks, “De jammerklachten van Singraven 1” and “2” are in quite similar manners to each other, although not so much to the first track. Fast melodies that distinguish black metal along with higher scale growling mixing with shrieks is just on the opposite of what the intro track was all about and its quite the odd little mix to have black metal such as this along with nature pagan metal. Some tracks, such as “Veur de leu van vrogger” are up to and just a bit over one minute and are filled with acoustic guitars and folky feel that sound very nice, but then you are back into the swirling vortex of black metal as the next track rolls around.

“In´t bos” starts out in a nice 90s black metal manner, but soon enough it starts to go a bit too much out of the box. Of course, there is no reason nor a rule that artists absolutely must stay inside the box that the genre has sort of been set into, but even more so it appears as if the duo is stepping out of their own toolbox. Stepping out of that particular box is fine, if you have the tools outside of it to pull the work off. The whole thing becomes quite cluttered. Almost as if both of them had two very different ideas of what they wanted this album to be like, and instead of braiding two things into one with fluency and skill, its oddly piled on top of each other with a huge amount of compression which makes it extremely difficult to appreciate when it sounds like the enjoyable parts are being pushed into the background. By “Botte bijlen”, I had very limited ideas anymore of what was going on.

It´s odd to try and describe the feeling this album gave me. I don’t want to say it was awful, because it really wasn’t awful at all, there are too many elements on here that show that this duo does have sense of how to write really good music, it just…its sort of like eating a chocolate cake with a layer after layer of mint, broccoli, caramel and cheese. On paper, its all yum but for the love of God don’t mix them together! 6.5/10 Julia Katrin

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6.5/10 We may survive!
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.**
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