Strange. Artisian are trying to do one thing but they semi-inadvertently end up sounding like something different. Listening to Seargte Le Reothadh feels like discovering a prosperous young Pagan band. There are heathen charges, marches and battles, accompanied by battle shrieks and packed into short, easily discernible songs. The riffs are sincere and straightforward, the composition is a bit haphazard and the sound is raw, warm, underproduced and thick. The drums are barely audible when going for blastbeats, and unproduced altogether. The guitar sounds quite unusual: not great, but with a distinctive distortion and a curious midrange buzz. Artisian could be an interesting newcomer playing very convincing Gaelic black metal.
But they are not. Actually, Artisian are a London-based trio trying to play classic black metal, inspired by Satan, sex and sodomy. In spite of the album title, there are very few Gaelic references — namely the titles of two instrumentals and a couple of lyrical parts dealing with nature. They had a couple of releases prior to Seargte le Reothadh, which means that they aren't exactly a new band.
In the end, it's hard to tell whether the music and sound are in fact intentional, or altogether a product of a sloppy accident. Maybe Artisian just don't know what they are trying to do, and the forests and landscapes in the artwork prove that they are suggesting one thing and singing about another. A slight reassessment of intentions could do wonders. The audience deserves to know what exactly they are listening to. (5.5/10)
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