Just recently British based Bal-Sagoth has issued once again their first 3 CDs. All 3 re-releases have different cover artwork, booklet and diffrent production (in fact, cover for Starfire Burning Upon the Iced-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule is not so diffrent, rather there are some smaller changes made).
As a matter of fact Bal-Sagoth are very known as one of the most underrated and one of the most original bands from 90s. Their music style was very original and innovative at that time and the band has made quite an impact even in major magazine. Since their have grown popularity later they have signed for Nuclear Blast. Bal-Sagoth’s music is based on Norwegian black metal, but it has also its own twist and ideas. It’s mainly based on epic and colossal keyboard lines and classic Scandinavian black metal riffing. The band is also very well-known by very long titles, spectacular narrations and incantations and the lyrics (their frontman Byron Roberts has created his own saga). Their first three CDs were released back then for Cacophonous Records, and I have to admit that I have already loved their cover artworks and production, expect perhaps that Starfire could have better prodaction, but with this re-issue the things are better.
A Black Moon Broods over Lemuria (1995) Sagoth’s debut full-length. More based on Scandinavian black metal. There are even some sort of death metal influences as well. The beginning phase when it comes to forming of their own style. although that it has marked the start of the band and that their style was still in the forming process I have found that this particular record has a lot of quality to offer. Guitar work and keyboard lines are particular marvelous and vocals are brilliant as well. Quite a malicious black metal issue.
Starfire Burning upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule (1996) perhaps one of the best works when it comes to these legendary Brits. This was the most important album for them that’s for sure since they music and style started at that time to be more complex and more mature so to say. The compositions on this record are far more complex comparing to previous issue. Also, it seems that the band has obtained and created a sort of their style. Starfire is dark fantasy record, with lots of bombastic orchestrations, very nice black metal riffing work, dark-some narrations and enchanted, yet malicious atmosphere. Truly monumental and cult release.
Battle Magic (1998) one of the best issues. Little different from previous Starfire but still it has quite dark and grim atmosphere and epic song writing. One could say that its more polished comparing to first two records and more acceptable for larger audience. Bombastic keyboards, epic narration lines and nice black metal riffing reflects one of the best records when it comes to epic metal in general.
- Marko Miranovic