Saligia formed in 2006 but it wasn’t until 2011 that they released their first full length, ‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’, previously only laying down demos in an attempt to gain a foothold in the icy barren black metal landscape. The duo that make up Saligia, Ahzari and V., are back and ready to unleash their brand of dirty and raw occult black metal all launched from one of the most majestic black metal birthplaces on the globe, the spectacular Trondheim in Norway.

‘Vesaevus’ is a blast of melancholic and malevolent violence, with the album being unveiled in the form of opening track, ‘Ashes’, which launches some resplendent keys, introducing almost a ritualistic, nihilistic opening. There are varying temperatures on the album, ranging from raw demonic black metal on ‘Draining The Well’ to growling satanic vocals, with a smattering of clean crisp vocals to dilute the filth, on the rest of the tracks.

The tracks also vary in length and endurance, ranging from ‘The Feather Of Ma’at’ clocking in at just shy of 4 minutes, to the marathons that are ‘Malach Ahzari’ and ‘Vesaevus’ which are both well into the 7 minutes.

Blast beats are utilised well by V. and these are injected throughout, along with old school out and out power. Ahzari lays down the strings and this ranges from decent, intense riffing, as well as more subdued and relaxed picking. Ahzari is technical and raw in equal measures, and this helps to generate an interesting element to the overall melodic style. At times, you can almost hear some thrashing to the guitar work and this infuses another branch to the black tree within the gloomy and dangerous forest.

Not content with flourishing with electricity on the strings, Ahzari also brandishes the acoustic guitar and adds in classical acoustic elements at times throughout the release. These sit proudly on top of the accompanying arrangement and go on to add even more atmosphere and body to their parental tracks.

Ahzari’s vocals are mesmerising throughout and the way they turn on themselves to create the varying degrees of brutality and primitiveness is masterful. The main topic on the release is the occult and this is exhibited wildly throughout, generating an emotional and bleak landscape on which this album proudly sits firmly on the highest crag, clearly visible at its peak.

This is complex and technical black metal whilst still managing to portray a degree of raw and uncompromising aggression. This is definitely a release to sit proudly amongst your Tsjuder, Mayhem and Gorgoroth vinyls

(8/10 Phil Pountney)