Dutch black metal outfit Sagenland take the mid-through-late ’90s approach on their much-anticipated debut Oale Groond (Heidens Hart). That is to say, the album that’s been in the works for nearly two eternities, spiritually succeeds Ulver’s Bergtatt, Arckanum’s Fran Marder, Dødheimsgard’s Kronet Til Konge, and Taake’s Nattestid Ser Porten Vid, and spirals into the deepest recesses of the Veluwe National Park for a winter of low-fi introspection.
Indeed, the track — titled “Bladval” — Sagenland haven chosen for Decibel has all the feels of black metal from its formative, mostly Nordic, days. The trem riff, cold melodicism, the raspy throats of Floris Velthuis and Arjan Peeks, as well as their cloud calls, the minimal percussion, and the old-world production aesthetic sends us back to an era forgotten… Until now!
Say Sagenland: “You could say this album has been in the making for 15 years. This track ‘Bladval’ is even older. With this album, the both of us show the influences of the stuff we grew up with, yet each in our own way, and combined into proper songs. Hardly any band nowadays uses (fretless) bass guitar or vocals in primitive black metal in the way we do. They are our own personal touches that were not that uncommon in the Scandinavian wave of black metal. Hopefully the album will appeal to those into old Ulver, old Dødheimsgard, old Arckanum.”