It's been quite some time since we've heard from Norwegian psychedelic doomsters Sahg, but they are back, this time around on Metal Blade Records, with their fourth album Delusions of Grandeur. Though there are some subtle differences to their sound, you can clearly still feel the love they have for Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pentagram, and Deep Purple. Hey, those are some damn fine influences to have if you ask me. This time around, there's less of a doom edge to their music, as the psych & hard rock seem to have come to the forefront more. Tunes such as "Blizzardborne" and "Slip Off the Edge of the Universe" contain some potent melodies to go along with heavy riffs and ominous atmosphere. "Firechild" mixes Deep Purple styled heavy guitar/organ rock with some of the complexities of bands like Opeth or Mastodon, while "Walls of Delusion" might be the darkest, doomiest number here, with menacing vocals complementing the crushing riffs quite nicely. The '70s styled crunch & grind of "Ether" is just superb (really fine grooves & riffs on this one), and the instrumental "Odium Delirium" features a dual guitar attack that wouldn't sound out of place on an old Iron Maiden or Thin Lizzy album. The epic closer "Sleeper's Gate to the Galaxy" throws some folk, prog, and loads of spacey psychedelia at the listener, almost like a midnight jam between Black Sabbath and Hawkwind, with Ozzy influenced vocals, tasty lead guitar, atmospheric soundscapes, some acoustic guitar, and driving metal riffs all combining for great effect.
Though some fans may lament the lack of out and out doom here on Delusions of Grandeur, I like the slight stylistic shift to more psychedelic avenues and classic '70s hard rock themes. This album is still pretty damn heavy, but it sounds like Sahg have grown up a bit and their creative juices have just started to really flow. Good stuff!
01. Slip Off The Edge Of The Universe
04. Walls Of Delusion
06. Then Wakens The Beast
07. Odium Delirium
08. Sleeper's Gate To The Galaxy