Dennis : It must have been a tough decision for the Swedish band Sarcasm to continue the band after the passing away of long time drummer Oskar Karlsson (Helltrain, Gates of Ishtar, The Duskfall, The Everdawn, Scheitan, Defleshed) in March 2016. The band had just reformed after a hiatus of almost 20 years and they were on a roll with new guitarist Peter Laitinen writing new material for their follow up on 1994’s recorded and 2016 (!) released debut album ‘Burial Dimensions’. Since it was Karlsson who was the most enthusiastic about releasing new material with band, the remaining members decided to carry on in his memory and release the new songs. Matte Modin (Defleshed, Firespawn, Dark Funeral) joined the band and in the summer of last year they went into the studio to record ‘Within the Spheres of Ethereal Minds’ which will be released on Dark Descent Records on April 28, 2017.
In Sweden Sarcasm is well known, they released six demo’s between 1992 and 1994, but kind of missed the boat when they recorded their debut album but did not release it due to indifferences with their label. Next to that, their – then - main songwriter Fredrik Wallenberg moved from their home base Uppsala to Gothenburg to form the band Skitsystem with At The Gates´ Tomas Lindberg and Adrian Erlandsson, so in 1994, after many setbacks, Sarcasm disbanded. I am not sure if many people outside of Sweden will have heard of Sarcasm but with this new release under their belt they definitely deserve a second chance.
‘Within the Spheres of Ethereal Mind’ contains 8 tracks that are a mixture of melodic Swedish death and black metal in vein of bands like Dissection, Unanimated and Sacramentum. New guitarist Laitinen has rightly translated the old spirit of this band and composed songs that could have been released twenty years ago. The music is melodic yet aggressive at the same time. The ferocious and pounding drumming of Matte Modin is driving the songs along and apart from the two mid-paced songs ‘Embodiment of Source’ and the eight minute opus ‘A Black Veil for Earth’, he is blasts through the other six songs with raging speed. The dual guitar riffing of Peter Laitinen and Anders Eriksson is mixed with catchy solos and the melodies really stick in your mind. I really like the simple yet very effective bassline in ‘From the Crimson Fog They Emerge’ with the melodic guitar riffs put right on top. And even though I am writing ‘melodic’ here, these death metal songs all have a very dark atmosphere, with a blackened touch. I am glad these guys decided to move forward with Sarcasm, in honor of their late drummer Oskar Karlsson and in honor of these great blackened death metal songs. Fans of all of the aforementioned bands will know what to do with this release!