SADASTOR  Herald Of Confusion  CDR   (Faunasabbatha)   11.98

†††† This was, without a doubt, one of the most difficult releases we've ever endeavored to get in stock. First released on cassette in 1998 and later reissued as a limited-edition CDR from Faunasabbatha in a tiny edition of ninety-three copies, this little slab of outsider black metal brilliance literally took years to reach us; they finally did, though, and we've got what appear to be the final copies of this amazing little disc from the strange two-man French black metal outfit Sadastor, a stamped, silver CDR housed in a simple plastic sleeve inside of a zine-style booklet filled with lyrics and artwork, everything bound together in twine and lust, magic and dreams.

†††† Little is known about this short-lived, extremely obscure band. Herald appears to be the only thing the band ever released. Their music is inarguably black metal, a shrill, fuzz-blasted rawness at the center of Sadastor's sound, but they surround that tinny, trebly abrasiveness with some surprisingly gorgeous melodies and lots of eerie, folk-flecked atmosphere, which cumulatively turn this into something rather odd and unique. Take opener "Scarlet Bath", for instance: from a brief intro of atmospheric wilderness sounds, a severely distorted black metal riff emerges, the high end gain cranked to the max as this eerie minor key melody races above the pattering rhythm of what's presumably a drum machine; it's buried so deep in the mix it's hard to tell though, reduced to a kind of bleary, hyperfast blur. And that achingly pretty melody gradually evolves into something even more poignant and beautiful, particularly when the song suddenly swerves into brief passages of maudlin piano, and when minimal synth notes begin to fall like motes of dust across this smeared superfast black metal lament.

†††† Sadastor's music also incorporates some great evil-sounding dissonance and warped riffs that contrast with the heart-wrenching melodies, as well as passage of haunted-house ambience and fragments of funereal piano, bits of weird funhouse synth, distant booming war drums, gloomy church organ and bleary droning keys. But those doleful melodies are always there, threaded throughout the songs, like something off an Alcest album but fused to that gritty, low-fi offbeat black metal and the broken rhythms. It really is captivating stuff, but when the vocals fully kick in, then it really turns into something odd. For much of this, the singer delivers the vocals in a typical harsh, throat-shredding scream, but he also sometimes slips into a wonderfully weird, nasally croon that was described by the black metal blog Attila The Hun as sounding "...like a mix of Swedish Chef and the vocals for Italy's Nazgul...". Yes, it's pretty weird, but not quite as silly sounding as you might think. Even more impressive is how that quirky vocal style doesn't detract from Herald's strikingly forlorn beauty. It's the sort of stuff that most "depressive" black metal bands would kill to be able to write, though as the vocals start to get blurred together and looped into a psychotic din on "Panolepte (Ityphallic Rapture)" while the music becomes more frenzied and noisy, this definitely gets into some pretty warped territory, and that last song "Burned Village" almost abandons black metal entirely; a haunting mix of martial drumming and archaic folky undercurrents, this song would later be covered by L'Acephale on their Malefeasance album...

Track Samples:
Sample : SADASTOR-Herald Of Confusion
Sample : SADASTOR-Herald Of Confusion
Sample : SADASTOR-Herald Of Confusion