This month sees Slaegt launch their third full length in just four years. The Danish quartet project a quirky upbeat nature through their music, even on early releases which were more straight-forward black metal. “The Wheel” continues where last years “Domus Mysterium” left off, taking cues from 80’s/90’s black metal and throwing a host of classic metal and occult rock influences into the mix.

Album opener “Being Born “(Is Going Blind)” starts traditionally enough with a barrage of drums and guitars, and soon settles into a fury of riffs and bridging melodies, closing with a raging solo. Quite the statement of intent. “Masician” on the other hand, introduces itself with an emotional guitar harmony that Thin Lizzy would be proud of before settling into a thrashy energetic series of verses, the intro guitar harmony reprised as an outro on acoustic guitars.

“Citrinitis” is another classy bit of rock n’ roll, with catchy riffs and a sense of urgency about itself. “V.W.A” follows, and though starting off with a definite Dissection vibe to it (hey lads, “Unhallowed” wants its verse riff back!), it ends with a melancholy instrumental jam. “Gauntlet Of Lovers” brings the rock n’ roll pace back to the forefront, before a brief melodic interlude leads to a Maiden-esque guitar dual that takes us to the end of the song.

The performance isn’t quite there, still a little too raw and sloppy for my tastes, and the rhythm guitar tone is a thin facsimile of Larry Lalondes sound on early Possessed releases. However, the energy conveyed by these guys is pretty incredible, and the solo work is top notch. I reckon they had a lot of fun recording this, and would love to see some of these tracks performed live.  This is the sound of Darkthrone, Motorhead and Blue Oyster Cult partying together, and you’d be foolish to turn down such an invite.

(7/10 Doogz)