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Saligia - "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi" (CD)

Saligia - "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi" CD cover image

"Sic Transit Gloria Mundi" track listing:

1. Casus Gloria
2. Sar-Ha-Olam
3. Womb Caverns
4. Orb of Flesh
5. Shed Old Skin
6. Blood Staineth
7. Upon the Altar

Reviewed by on October 3, 2011

"...there is not nearly enough variety, production or songwriting caliber for 'Sic Transit Gloria Mundi' to pique the interest of most black metal fans."

This album sounded intriguing when it was revealed that it is Norwegian black metal in the purist vein. Saligia tout themselves as ritualistic and old-school, so upon listening to their debut "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi," one comes into the experience expecting to hear classic 90's nihilistic raw power. As a two-piece (Azhari on voices and strings and Adonai on drums), visions of Bathory minimalism may abound.

What follows is a seven-song journey toward what they deem enlightenment not of this world. They seem really consumed by what they do, but the results just don't seem to be there. "Casus Gloria" starts the whole path out with a long lead-in that materializes into that same endless pattern of riff redundancy. The poor production, while giving it that occult cred, hampers whatever loud quality this release could have obtained. Azhari is different in that he sings in a regular vocal style and rarely growls, but his singing gets buried behind all the music. "Sar-Ha-Olam" starts with a controlled rhythm and suddenly speeds up in a manner that is devoid of song structure. Elements can't just be combined sporadically to produce a song that makes sense.

Out of the seven songs, it was hard to tell six of them apart. You look for depth instead of just aimless noise, but these tracks all have practically the same riffing, cymbal-heavy drum beats and interlude somewhere in the middle that is put in for variety's sake and goes absolutely nowhere. In "Orb of Flesh," the drumming even sounds like it has skipped timing in a few places. "Womb Caverns" plays a bit louder and is less submerged under the production than some of the other songs, but it too is basically the same three notes droned on and on to drum blasts. By the time you get to "Upon the Altar," there is some variety in the ominous growling, a bit more tremolo and a good, serious controlled beat - but by then, the album has ended.

Saligia is aiming for a sound that is less musically pleasing and more in the occult realm. They have achieved that and will probably strike the right note with hordes of black metal purists. However, there is not nearly enough variety, production or songwriting caliber for "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi" to pique the interest of most black metal fans.

Highs: Purist ritual black metal from Norway

Lows: Raw production and lack of songwriting variety

Bottom line: Fans of occult black metal may like "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi."

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)