Sargeist - Unbound
World Terror Committee
Black Metal
10 songs (47'14")
Release year: 2018
Sargeist, World Terror Committee
Reviewed by Alex
Major event

It must be a coincidence but the last two Sargeist albums came my way when things weren’t going so well, so I associate this Finnish band with a pure and honest desire to flash a middle finger in the face of difficulties. With that attitude in mind I was then thoroughly overjoyed when a thrashy folky bridge in the opener Psychosis Incarnate allowed me for such opportunity. I knew it from that point on that I will enjoy Unbound just like I did enjoy Let the Devil In and Feeling the Crawling Shadows.

For a bit more serious introduction, among Finnish seminal black metal collectives I appreciate Sargeist just a touch more than Horna (the other band of Sargeist founder/guitarist/songwriter Shatraug) just because with Horna being more prolific a Sargeist album is a rarer occurrence. Case in point, it took 4 years between each of the last two albums and now Unbound. Also, Unbound appears to be a new launching pad since Sargeist features a wholly reconstituted lineup here, Shatraug having called other prominent Finnish black metal players under his banner.

Whereas Let the Devil In was the epitome of black metal melodic accessibility and sensibility, Feeling the Crawling Shadows took a decent size step back away from being accessible. Ringing, resounding quality production of Unbound, some cuts full reliance on melody (title track, Blessing of the Fire-Bearer), but others returning to harsh atonal grind (Death’s Empath, Psychosis Incarnate), the main distinction of the album, for me anyway, was its absolutely relentless nature. Unbound is a total war on everything all the time. With the monstrous bottom end and harsh overwhelming vocals (plus a cleaner man choir here and there, like in Psychosis Incarnate), there is no hiding spot or respite here for the 47 min Unbound lasts. If it is wanderings under the moon in To Wander the Night’s Eternal Path, they are restless. Orthodox ritualistic The Bosom of Wisdom and Madness slides into a more defined militaristic riff towards the end. If Hunting Eyes is a little slower, then it hurts no less. And don’t let the first couple of funeral notes of Wake of the Compassionate deceive you. Upcoming double bass and unrelenting guitars will crush you, just like they do everywhere else on the album. This music will leave you physically battered, and, honestly, I was very much OK with that, wanting more, being a total glutton for punishment. And it is a good helping of punishment Sargeist deliver with Unbound. Being awash in melody, maybe even overly as in the title track, or running triumphant (Blessing of the Fire-Bearer), doesn’t reduce the level of hurt the band will provide. In fact, listening to Hunting Eyes it may be even more.

You can plug into Unbound at any moment, pick any title, and plunge into the pain and suffering from the moment you do. There are no valleys in the album and this is a testament to its consistency. At the same time, the unrelenting sense of intensity makes it somewhat difficult to maintain a constant sense of peak. I could play any song from the album and like it instantly and repeatedly. But listening to the whole Unbound on repeat may be a challenge. Like medicine, it needs to be taken in appropriate doses. And speaking of medicinal purposes, again, Unbound was able to serve them for me. The mood was dark this last week, and imagining being able to show the Sargeist painted middle finger in the face of circumstances was immensely pleasing and cleansing. The music for my upset hour, Sargeist didn’t disappoint with Unbound.

Killing Songs :
Psychosis Incarnate, The Bosom of Wisdom and Madness, Hunting Eyes, Unbound, Blessing of the Fire-Bearer
Alex quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Sargeist that we have reviewed:
Sargeist - Feeding the Crawling Shadows reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Sargeist - The Rebirth of a Cursed Existence reviewed by Jared and quoted no quote
Sargeist - Let the Devil In reviewed by Tony and quoted 92 / 100
Sargeist - Satanic Black Devotion reviewed by Tony and quoted 88 / 100
Sargeist - Disciple of the Heinous Path reviewed by Daniel and quoted 70 / 100
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