Home is where the heart is, even if the heart is black. SAGENLAND is part of that breed of black/folk metal that is tied to a particular place. In this case, it is the Eastern part of Holland near the town of Twente. The gentlemen of SAGENLAND are very close to their homeland, and have dedicated their music to it. On further inspection, I find the Twente area to be a gentle pastoral place of modest fields, forests and rivers, not too different from my own home in Northern Illinois. That automatically makes me more kindly disposed to them. It’s not only forbidding mountains and arctic wastes that can inspire.
SAGENLAND’s black metal is mostly fast and aggressive, but it goes down easy and doesn’t have much of an “evil” or “Satanic” feel despite the hellacious harsh screams throughout. I’m sure that’s by design. The riffing is on the trebly side and easy to latch onto…the songs and the album as a whole breeze by in no time. The bass guitar is surprisingly prominent throughout, given ample room to flourish on both parts of ‘De Jammerklachten von Singraven’. Although the troll vocals predominate, clean choirs appear on ‘Bladval’ and ‘In ‘t Bos’. Folk plays a part in SAGENLAND’s sound as well, as acoustic interludes pop up. The band has the sense to make these mercifully brief so they can focus more on the fast, triumphant black metal they play.
I really enjoyed this album…a great example of pastoral black metal that doesn’t lack bite. Seek it out if you can.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality
5 / 6