Originally written by Jason Jordan.
Man, except for a couple passages, Sargeist do nothing for me. But I’ll go ahead and tell you about them, because otherwise it’d be a short review. This Finnish unit has been around for six years, and their sound parallels that of the old-school – perhaps too much. At any rate, Disciple of the Heinous Path is their sophomore full-length and adds another CD case to a stack filled with numerous demos, splits, and a compilation. Interestingly enough, Shatraug (guitars) forged Sargeist as his solo project, but Behexen balrogs Hoath Torog (vocals) and Horns (drums) joined later on. Shatraug – not to be confined to one endeavor – is also a member of Horna and I can’t decide which of his projects is more boring. Just to be safe, though, I’d avoid them both.
At first, Disciple of the Heinous Path doesn’t look off-putting in the least. Besides all the black metal clichés, or archetypes depending on your viewpoint, the album is pretty appealing. There are six songs to digest, which occupy forty minutes of time, plus Moribund Records unleashed this so there’s at least a chance it’ll be good. Wrong. As for execution, nearly everything is mediocre. The song structures are decent, if not average, as well as the musicianship. Torog’s vocals subscribe to a high-pitch strain rather than a full-on growl, and I prefer deeper BM vocals most of the time. Still, the formulas become noticeable quickly. A song either utilizes the same tempo throughout its length (“Black Treasures of Melancholy,” “Cursed Blaze of Rituals,” and “Echoes from a Morbid Night”) or increases the pace during its midsection but returns to form by its end (“Remains of an Unholy Past,” “Disciple of the Heinous Path,” and “Heretic Iron Will”). More often than not, the latter tend to be superior. Once Sargeist jolts the tempo halfway through “Remains of an Unholy Past” I imagine them livid with hatred and frothing at the mouth. The piece is riveting for those two minutes, and the melancholic beginning of “Disciple of the Heinous Path” is quite entrancing. Lamentably, much of Disciple of the Heinous Path experiences cave-ins as tunes collapse without warning. Wait, no, that’s your attention span.
The thing about Sargeist is that they aren’t that bad; they’re just uninteresting. Nonetheless, for those of you who can’t help yourselves, I’d suggest “Remains of an Unholy Past” and “Disciple of the Heinous Path” for yielding the most profitable results, but you’ll likely be disappointed overall. As for me, I won’t be consuming any more Sargeist or Horna, except at gunpoint.