Slow, heavy and crushing is the way of Saga. Hulking great walls of guitar noise crash around you as tortured shouts assault your senses, topped off with lonesome melodies that seem at the same time both disconnected and essential to the music.
Haunting passages and gargantuan riffs share space in the songs and all the time the sense of utter Doom and despair is all-pervading. At least it would be all-pervading if it wasn’t for the quasi-hopeful melodic streak that adorns the album like a partially obscured crown, making appearances here and there to spread optimism only to be torn asunder again and again like the darkness eating the light.
Even the album cover draws you in; a promise of a hot fire on a cold night – sanctuary from the dark. All the time the frigid, gloomy woods creep ever closer and creatures stir within, hidden from sight.
This is a release that grows on you like an infection, revealing its next bleak gift with every repeated visit. Each listen brings you closer to damnation while promising redemption. It’s insidious.
Get lost in this album if you dare. You may not return, but what sweet release awaits?