Tom Cato "King" Visnes (bass) (the artist formerly known as King Ov Hell) - I, Gorgoroth
Brynjulv Guddal (drums, percussions, keys) - Clububba, Ex-Malignant-Eternal, Ex-Far Beneath the Sun
The name Sahg means, according to Iversen, in an ancient Finnish-Ugrian tongue “walk with demons”, although in older interviews his explanation was completely different: »The original name of the band was “sag”, which means sail in Norwegian, but to have a more neutral touch, we added an “h”. Later we found out that we are now a Nepalese turnip…« (Source: www.metal.de, www.baldymod.de and others)
Other voices say that the name was taken out of Perry Rhodan novel. That sounds most likely to me, to be honest, but the true meaning of the name Sahg (if there is any) will remain a secret to everyone but the band.
Bands like Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Led Zeppelin are their biggest influences, and this is clear from the first song, not to mention the album titles. Sahg II is the follow up to the debut Sahg I… Greetings from Led Zeppelin!
Ascent To Decadence Olav Iversen sounds on this song (like on most of the others) a lot like a young Ozzy. Although the effects used in the vocal parts are a bit annoying from time to time, the sound reflects that special feeling of a time trip to the old school metal atmosphere of the 70´s, and as such it works.
Echoes Ring Forever Open your eyes and he´ll be there: Austin Powers! No, all jokes aside, this song is really fun and I wasn´t the only one with a big smile on my face. With some really beautiful guitar melodies spiced up with some psychedelic elements, tight drums, fat bass and all fits perfectly. This song is really mean rock´n´roll.
Pyromancer This is a massive, party song. It just forces you to play air guitar and sing along. Pyromancer has everything you could want: rocking riffs, pounding bass, a catchy melody, an easy to sing a long chorus and Iversens nasty vocals. A real killer!
Escape The Crimson Sun Instead of a bass this song has a mandolin played by Olav Iversen. Escape The Crimson Sun feels like it´s never ending and was for me the most boring of the songs.
Monomania After dozing off during Escape The Crimson Sun, Monomania is an equally long, slow tempo song, although in no way boring. The beautiful melody carries the song with a mood that makes you visualize, what King told before the listening session, how the band spent their breaks from working in the studio by fishing outside the door. Total chill out, but the lyrics are a bit annoying and clumsy.
From Conscious Sleep On From Conscious Sleep everything is working again. Good lyrics (as far as I understood them), great riffs, good melody. Just good.
In The Hand Of Mankind This was the last song of the listening session and it was not a disappointment. A shame it´s over so soon. A second listening would be nice as some of the songs have definitely hit quality.
Mystic Temptress I can´t say anything about Mystic Temptress as the track unfortunately wasn´t ready for the listening session, but if King is to be trusted, it will be a real blast and one of the best tracks on the album. We´re waiting anxiously!
Even if the production wasn´t finished this raw version of Sahg II had a sound that many other bands consider first class. When Sahg II is produced like Sahg I, I´m sure there will be nothing left to complain about.
Although most of my colleagues and even the label call Sahg a Doom Metal act, I must say that the term Stoner Metal act is more fitting. Even if the tempo is Doom, with this groove and psychedelic elements the “Doom-feeling” isn´t apparent. Sahg pay their homage, but don´t copy their heroes. All in all Sahg II is clearly better than Sahg I and therefore a more than worthy follow up. Groovy Baby!