Norway's Sadhak is a project that would be easy to miss but hard to forget if you're a fan of somber and reflective sounding doom. There margin of atmosphere to riffs is wide on self titled Sadhak but it's the generally small number of riffs, their texture, attack and presentation that create that atmosphere. Opening track "On The Arrival Of Man" is a grand looming stumble towards something far away in the future which is hard to grasp now, but will eventually be revealed. It's a lot like what I could imagine as the score to a black and white film adaptation of Stephen King's Gunslinger novels. The track leaves me in dreary thought. Even though we are surrounded in life by those we are close with, we are ultimately alone and it's music such as the ringing twangy chords and mournful vocalizations of multi-instrumentalist Andreas Hagen that inspire introspective thoughts such as this. Two long tracks grace this limited edition tape from Shadow Kingdom and both share in the style which has become popular in the past several years - at least so I've noticed - that draws upon desert / mountain vibes. Second track "The Perfection of Wisdom" moves with a more anxious and frantic motive, much like the end of The Shining when Jack Nicholson can't find his way out from the hedge-maze. Even though this track is deeper in style and substance than Sadhak's opening track, I like it less. The simplicity of "On The Arrival Of Man" is excellent.
It's fascinating to me the influences pulled together here and the different sounds of this release. The whole is draped in the atmosphere of bands such as Velnias and what has come to be known as the "Cascadian" sound but where Sadhak improve upon this foundation is in the incorporation of vibes more like recent Earth releases, especially Hex: Or Printing In The Infernal Method, stoner riffs and - at least in "The Perfection of Wisdom" some home-grown classics such as Burzum's Filosofem and early Taake. Andreas' smooth heartfelt vocals, youthful and pure, pour over a melancholic foundation, and the result is a very tragic sounding two tracks. It's Andreas' vocals really that make this release more than what could have been. Though I would have liked to hear more differentiation between the two tracks, what was offered here is enough for me to want to come back and hear more.This is being offered as a package deal with a shirt and tape... I know I'm pre-ordering.