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Sarke: Bogefod

A side-stepping Norwegian black thrash assault

It’s unfortunate that after all these years some still perceive Norway’s Sarke as being simply a Nocturno Culto side-project when the band not only has a full lineup, but is actually named after bassist Sarke (of Khold and Tulus fame) himself.

Sarke contain elements of all the bands mentioned, offering a groove-heavy, organic and mid-paced blend of black metal, thrash and even Motörhead-like rock’n’roll drive – a combination that’s made their three previous albums enjoyable, accessible affairs. Bogefod continues in much the same spirit, with determined, stomping numbers whose dynamics range from Hellhammer/early Celtic Frost style grimness to more epic, ethereal and grandiose passages that hint curiously at Emperor.

For the most part it’s straightforward stuff, although there are a few surprises. The acoustic guitars that open Barrow Of Torolv, for example, ably set up what is a well-considered, doomy and mournful number, while Dawning features clean and melancholic strings and a haunting female voice.

A decent, varied affair.