By Earthdog

Sahg from Norway are a interesting band who have had a interesting career so far. How many bands do you know that play metal that incorporates Thrash Metal, N.W.O.B.H.M, Stoner Metal and Traditional Doom Metal and yet still get the "doom" tag? Sahg are much more than just a doom band. They are also much bigger than anyone in the west knows or understands, they have had albums reached the mainstream album charts, had big articles written about them in the mainstream press and yet still remain very underground outside of Norway and surrounding countries. Three albums into their career and the band seems to be getting better and better and this new one with the imaginative title "Sahg 3" sees them heading in a more traditional Heavy Metal direction while still keeping traces of their original sound intact.3 is a logical continuation from their previous works but with a twist : they bring in a more straight-forward Heavy Metal approach and there are also some psychedelic elements that seem more prominent in this album. Sahg have always taken a lot of influence from 70's Hard Rock, everything from Sabbath to Priest to early 70's Prog-Rock comes into the picture on all their albums but on this one especially they put those influences to good use. No one could call them original but they do have a accurate, precise way of writing songs while avoiding a set formula. This is a mixed bag of a album though, I am sorry to say. There are some great songs like "Burden" that has a Deep Purple kind of vibe about it, "Downward Spiral" which is a fast and chunky Sabbathian kind of rocker and"Spiritual Void", my personal favorite on the album, which brings in some Funeral Doom elements. You also have the very Judas Priest sounding "Denier".. the Priest influence isn't that obvious but it is there in the riffing.

"Baptism Of Fire" and "Mother's Revenge"  is where Sahg seem to be at their peak. When they do the more standard metal numbers, it's a bit of a case of heard it all before and done much better than this. Vocalist and guitarist Olav Iversen still has the "Ozzy" type of wailing vocals and he is a great, very accomplished singer and front-man and an important key to the bands sound. The rest of the band are made up of very good musicians that have all their chops down and there are plenty of great hooks to be heard but it's just a little predictable at the end of the day despite some standout tracks. It seems a little unbalanced with the good songs blowing away the weaker ones although there is nothing bad on the album, just a bit ordinary. If you like good solid metal with a bit of variety then you should dig this, some of the monstrous riffs and wailing vocals really capture your attention. 7/