Saille - Ritu
Label: Code666 Records
Reviewer: Tiphany Matai - 2013-03-01
Translated By Carmina Khairallah
Who would’ve thought that Belgium would someday reveal one of the most currently interesting Symphonic Metal bands? The release of “Irreversible Decay” in 2011 had made us discover a combo in great shape, offering some intriguing dark Art, well researched and striking. Saille is far from the current cliché of a band more extreme than Black, more pompous than inspired. It offers, with equal parts of guts and imagination, a particularly intense, violent and dark ensemble, that it’d be too bad to miss.
If keyboardist Dries Gaerdelen’s project originally was totally studio oriented, it seems to be taking shape more and more, to the point of creating rich opuses and accomplish live acts seen accompanying Melechesh, Ancient Rites or Izegrim to name a few. 2013 marks a new revolution is Saille’s career with the release of “Ritu” recorded at Shumcot Studios, mastered by Tom Kvalsvoll at Strype Audio (Mayhem, Emperor, Arcturus, Limbonic Art) and signed again at Italian Code666. The Belgians conceptualize their album by basing it on ancient culture’s funerary rites and by taking inspiration from Lovecraft. Finally, they surround themselves with guest musicians for the orchestrations. Seems like this is going to be dark and exquisite…
Directly from the start, the coldness of the guitars and the epic ambiance that are Saille’s signature can be felt. “Blood Libel” starts nicely with a very particular blackness to it and a slight theatrical aspect close to Carach Angren. The typically Black Metal guitar explosions are close behind and violin interludes add a lot of spice to it, especially when the melodies sound insane. “Subcutaneous Terror” deepens the nail with its flawless speed and aggressiveness, its sense of melody and Symphonic. Orchestrations are far from covering up the guitars, which maintain the lead role. Proof is the atmospheric solo close to that of Dimmu Borgir’s “Grotesquery Concealed…”, but with more speed.
The diversity of rites takes up more space afterwards, with an incantatory “Fhtagn”, ultimate reference to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. “Sati” stems its name from the Hindu funerary custom in which the widow immolates herself. Thus, one would not be surprised to find the sound of crackling flames, sitar, traditional female chants, and the repetition of the word “Sati”, like a mantra, in a particularly rich and disturbing piece, guided by the variety of the instruments and Dennie’s terrible cries.
One can find the force and strength of Symphonic Black inside with pieces like “Haunter of the Dark”. Saille varies pleasures, by offering us a bunch of strong moments, like this explosion, this strong uprising, this impeccable drumming, those choirs, those dark and grasping melodies… not forgetting a progressive “Ritual Descent” with a grandiose finale.
It’s hard to find negative aspects in all of this since Saille is so good at separating itself from the masses. “Ritu” suffers from no linearity or dead spots and contains rare richness and strength. The osmosis between all the instruments is almost perfect, the Symphonic parts are measured and the purely Black parts don’t lack grip and efficiency. Is “Ritu” better than the integrity of current releases? Better than “Irreversable Decay”? Yes, undoubtedly.
*Posted as part of our partnership with Tiphany Mataï, reviewer from the French Spirit of Metal Webzine..