Saligia: FØNIX

Insidious sermons from the Trondheim mountaintops

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One of the more enigmatic projects connected with Norway’s Nidrosian black metal scene based in Trondheim, Saligia’s work is more of an autonomous entity than that of their comrades, who at times operate on an almost communal level, often resulting in a regionally trademarked sound.

Fønix attacks with short bursts of crudely thrashing riffs that twist and turn beneath the commanding vocal presence of mastermind Ahzari. He delivers a refreshingly articulate and fiery sermon of howls and croaky intonations, whose subject matter provokes deeper intrigue.

Each composition navigates a claustrophobically unpredictable path thanks in part to an unbalancing mix and constant lo-fi battery of drumming that makes this album less straightforward than previous works, and at times a little discordant.

Album closer Fønix: Flame Coronation boasts some impressively grandiose lead guitar and an uncrowded focus and clarity, thanks to a slower pace that builds to a majestic crescendo that closes proceedings in poignant splendour.