In my ignorance I overlooked Sargeist's debut full-length 'Satanic Black Devotion' when it came out back in 2003 as the ultra-orthodox black metal aesthetic employed by the band didnt fill me with confidence that the band would stand out from the hordes of other mediocre artists out there endlessly engaging in sub-par Darkthrone worship.
I was completely wrong however, as 'Satanic Black Devotion' is excellent, its songs consisting of depressive, fast-paced guitarlines that weigh heavily upon the listener and create the impression of a nocturnal torrential downpour with harsh, rasping and distant-sounding screamed vocals with atavistic power and a real emotional kick to them.
In addition, the whole thing is held together with both the dirty, punky quality that numerous Finnish black metal bands tend to achieve so well, and also an abundance of somehow simultaneously lively and melalancholy folky bridges employed elsewhere by Finnish peers Horna, unsuprisingly perhaps as Sargeist guitarist Shatraug also plays in the aforementioned band. Likewise, Sargeist's drummer and vocalist also operate in Finnish BM band Behexen, with all 3 bands unsuprisingly sharing a distinct sound.
'Satanic Black Devotion' is an uncompromising and consistenly excellent listen that grows on the listener with multiple listens, and though strong right through the standout track is undoubtely the title track, which employs an incredibly vital and moving folky-bridge around the track's oppressive black metal sections, and is so constructed as to be completely addictive. A highly recommended mixture of murky, punky black metal and sombre folk melodies.
1. Preludium 01:33
2. Satanic Black Devotion 05:41
3. Obire Pestis (Suicidal Ruin) 02:47
4. Frowning, Existing 05:44
5. Glorification 04:10
6. Panzergod 04:31
7. Black F*cking Murder 06:04
8. Sargeist 06:28
9. Returning to Misery & Comfort 04:37
Total playing time 41:35
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Satanic Black Devotion
3 Obire Pertis
4 Frowning Existing
7 Black Fucking Murder
9 Returning To Misery & Comfort