Vera : The one-man-project Slegest, founded by guitarist Stig Ese after his departure in Vreid in 2010, has expanded into a four-piece band after the debut album ’Løyndom’ and since late 2013 they are also active live. Now they are ready with the sophomore album ‘Vidsyn’ on which lyrics are mainly in Norwegian again and the musical direction happens to be deepened. That means an intriguing hybrid of black metal (mainly noticeable in the creepy rough vocals), hard rock from the seventies and rigorous thrash from the eighties. The quartet manages to put down a signature sound with compact, riff oriented songs.
‘I Fortida Sitt Lys’ – they have shot a sturdy video clip for it – opens with music interwoven with a speech of a woman, but most of all it makes us rock fervently with a gnarling, gravel-throated voice as characteristic and some sure-fire soloing on top of it. ‘Som I Eit Endelikt’ sounds initially less grim, until the vocals join in. Slower and sneaky it develops into soaring leads, while Grutle Kjellson of Enslaved is heard as guest singer. ‘Du’ starts and ends with sounds of nature, has a fetching, repetitive guitar melody and an engrossing instrumental centerpiece. Also in the next songs it leaps to the eye that they build up tension in a wonderful manner with ponderous Iommi like riffs and absence of speed. Yet the songs smoothly haunt you. The guitars are always in front of the mix, done by Bjørnar E. Nilsen and Ese himself. The mastering was in the hands of Herbrand Larsen (Enslaved), that’s why we meet with several famous artists on the record, defining the final sound. They keep it accessible and convenient, with occluding track ‘Tenn Den Gamle Varde’ as sole track of eight minutes length. In that space of time they have the luxury to build it up slowly with grim guitars and beautiful soaring leads, while the mid-part slackens down pace even more. The word ‘epic’ might be written down here and let’s call it ‘ending in beauty’. ‘Vidsyn’ happens to be a self-willed album with a final sound that will appeal to more traditional rockers as well as to more extreme aficionados. Not ‘neither one thing nor the other’, but craftwork from the North again!