Sahhar – Kliem It-Tmiem (2017)

“…in the absence of will power, the most complete collection of virtues and talents is wholly worthless’’

Over the years, black metal has always been in the centre of stigma, even among metal heads alike. Indeed a niche product, the lyrical themes never fell short on controversy and unorthodox principals. Chastised in the eyes of the general public, black metal is the epitome of underground music. This is the tale of Sahhar, an idiosyncratic yet ambitious brainchild, nurtured by one man with one common passion.

I hardly ever spoke to the man other than small chats in between gigs yet simply from personal observations, one could adhere and understand the devotion that this man oozes to the scene. I’ve been involved into the local scene for a little over 5 years, yet his infamous goodwill immediately caught my attention.

This project was procreated over a decade ago, with the man trying to give a different and notorious sound in his releases. I had to go back and give a listen to each of his past releases before being able to convey the most unbiased yet equitable opinion. Being initially a standalone project, Sahhar went through experimentation and several trial and error tests before finding its definite touch, all this was noted whilst listening to material found in ‘’Magija Sewda’’ and ‘’Mera Mkissra’’.

However, he immediately showed a great deal of potential and as the years went by, his sound became more impulsive to be noted in releases such as ‘’Kruha u Kefrija’’. His music would eventually become a cult among fellow local fans of black metal, so it was a matter of time before he went live by anointing further musicians into his project, becoming a legitimate act in the process. Such performances immediately caught the fans attention so it was quite natural that the man behind the myth forged further material.

2017, unveil his fourth full length release ‘’Kliem it-Tmiem’’. The influences are highly noteworthy. Shades of subterranean acts such as Xasthur, coupled with compelling melody ever so graciously spawned by more accomplished acts such as Dark Funeral, this is by far Sahhar’s piece de resistance.

It’s remarkable how his song writing have evolved and compiled in the most proficient manner. Something which I always loved about this project is the fully fledged Maltese lyrics, an underrated use among fellow bands yet done in an emphatic manner. Eerie programming coalesced with unforgiving guitar riffs, concluding with a polished production that immediately exceeded my expectations.

Starting things off with a fitting prologue ‘’Prefazju Qabel Ma Tieqaf Thabbat Il-Qalb’’, things promptly go unhinged as soon as the chaotic and spectral ‘’Awtopsja’’ kicks in. The album doesn’t fall in the same rut, thanks to the accurate use of interludes such as ‘’Il-Hsibijiet ta’ l-Ahhar’’ and ‘’Zliega’’. Nothing bridges the album better than obsidian Gregorian chants and keyboards. ‘’Il Mewt Ghad Thaddanna Ilkoll’’ is a personal favourite. Slower than former tracks, Sahhar starts reciting in a post-apocalyptic stride as the track fades out in the most sombre fashion. Also included is a polished cover of Marduk’s Funeral Dawn, among other equally exceptional tracks such as ”Lil Hinn” and ”Ghadam Niexef, Injam Mherri”.

Black metal like it’s been meant to be. Luxuriously produced, ‘’Kliem It-Tmiem’’ is an interesting and persuasive anthology of misanthropy and decadence.

Pretty much like wine, Sahhar has improved and spawned into being a legitimate act. Well worth my time and definitely looking forward for more releases.

Music enthusiast & coffee addict. Although never involved in bands or local promotions, Alan always wanted to contribute and further expanding the genre he adores most. Listening to countless albums and engaging in conversations with local musicians, what better way to express feelings and insights than the art of writing?