Formed in 1994, black metal stalwarts Sammath hail from Netherlands. Sammath’s sound portrays a blackened melodic foundation on which rests an approach of attacking, extreme death metal- well showcased in their 1999 release Strijd. Verwoesting/Devastation released in 2002 featured unapologetic rhythms, the essence of which was also carried into their next release Dodengang (2006) which showcased a warfare of tremolo riffage and sick blast beats. Their next release Triumph in Hatred (2009) is about spiteful melodies braided with some death metal influenced riffage.
This year, Sammath released Godless Arrogance, a full-length album, absolutely unrelenting! The overall sound of Godless Arrogance is much about violent rhythms and relentless drumming, grooves well-thought to support the shifts from brusque, attacking guitars to gradually emerging melodies.
The album opens with Shot in Mass with a rather straightforward approach with uncompromising riffage, fierce drumming and face-melting vocals- all fitted into a charging pace through most of the song and breaks the monotony with an intelligent structure. Fear upon Them doesn’t take more than a few seconds to create a gruesome atmosphere and showcases a brilliant array of the right amount of repetition to create the desired impact and variation in pace, drum fills and guitars. Godless kicks off as absolute assault and puts forth some horrid melodies as the song gradually shifts to a steady pace, never compromising on its sheer savagery! Thrive in Arrogance is an outbreak of pummeling grooves leading to sick blast beats and hoarse vocals with well-thought transitions at the right places. The World Must Burn starts off with interesting drum fills leading to blast beats supporting the raging guitars and fire-breathing vocals. Definitely the most brutal track on the album, Through Filth and Remains of Man creates an intimidating effect with the ferocity of each instrument standing out clearly as intended. Death (Hunt them Down) features a rather ‘pounding’ approach and is rendered memorable with a captivating structure which boasts of well-executed rhythms. The last song Nineteen Corpses Hang in the Mist builds up an atmosphere like no other song does in the album and is the best listen out of all the songs, for the numerous variations featured in the song.
Even though the overall sound of Godless Arrogance steers clear from useless frills and showcases limited diversity which was probably deliberate in order to generate an intended thought-process in the listener, the changes within the song structures quite successfully assimilate a variety of riffs and grooves and do not fail to create the desired atmosphere at the right places.
-Reviewed by Debarati Das