So where are the new, classic bands? It’s a question that has confounded labels and listeners alike for years, and with good reason.
With over four decades since the likes of Jimmy Page and Tony Iommi first put soul to reel, it’s perhaps understandable that all who have followed in their wake have faced a near-impossible task.
Present yourself as an homage to those timeless sounds and you’ll be dismissed as derivative.
Step too far out of the shadow, and you just wouldn’t rock.
Enter Sahg, who’ve cast aside the bullshit to create the kind of record that could only come from the deepest respect for the architects of our world, but also from a cast-iron resolve to move beyond it to create something thrilling, compelling, and utterly new.
Forged in Bergen’s creative melting pot in 2004, the Norwegian riff-lords have conquered stages from Wacken to India, and their chart-busting 2006 debut, Sahg I, received universal praise from critics and fans alike, including a perfect 10/10 from Germany’s Rock Hard and a commendable 8/10 from Metal Hammer UK.
It didn’t end there, with Classic Rock magazine boldly declaring that their 2008 follow-up, Sahg II, ‘teeters on the edge of a modern day classic.’ But while the praise for Sahg’s singular vision and virtuoso abilities has been high, it’s also been consistently laced with references to the most monumental of groups responsible for creating the rock and metal world we live in.
The comparisons aren’t accidental.
“There’s no denying our influences,” says Olav Iversen, frontman, guitarist, and co-creator of Sahg’s towering sounds.
“Our biggest heroes are the bands that truly defined heavy music. Sabbath and Zeppelin have created some of the darkest atmospheres ever expressed by musicians.
In later years, however, we have also taken a lot of influence from modern, progressive metal bands, like Mastodon and Opeth. But the key to making use of your influences isn’t by imitating their work, but by using them to create something new and unique.”
No-where is that more evident than on their latest opus, the curiously-titled Delusions Of Grandeur.
Otherworldly, mystical, unflinchingly progressive, and unafraid to call upon the powers of doom, Delusions… is nothing less than 48 minutes of impeccable musicianship and flawless delivery. Recorded at Solslottet Studios – aka Castle Of The Sun – under production of Iver Sandøy (Enslaved, Krakow), Sahg’s fourth entry in the annals of wickedness is a doom-infused, heavy rock fireball that’s set to torch speakers around the globe.
“We recorded it live,” says Olav. “We wanted to capture the heat of the moment and the organic vibe of our live performance.”