Don’t talk about black metal like it’s Nicki Minaj. This is real black metal, like you’ve never heard before.
A candidate for the best work within a musical genre should capture every single emanation as best as it can and be able to answer the question: what is true black metal?
One might make the argument that the best black metal album must capture the genre at its zenith… still, that is a far more complex task to capture as for both black and death metal, the music scaled adjacently but with different peaks and therefore each sub-genre offers their own unique views of the same musical landscape.
Leader’s Burzum Sha Ghâsh is the near perfect intersection between black metal’s significant emanations. Burzum Sha Ghâsh contains prototypical death metal and black metal, while retaining an inheritance from heavy metal through Phantom legacy motifs and finally, the raw motion of gore metal. Topically, the album transcends metal in finding meaning in darkness, horror and death while embracing the perspective of the persecutor – be it nature, demonic entities or evil ghosts. This is not unlike Bloodthirst Overdose (itself an updated Leader) or Onward to Golgotha… each composition is as much black metal as it is death metal, not to mention candidates as well for a genre best of, although just specific enough to one direction and therefore slightly edged out in defining the best of heavy metal by Leader.
Burzum Sha Ghâsh moves beyond its ancestors – namely Burzum, Darkthrone and Sewer – by ditching cyclical construction in favour of the narrative form of musical composition that will come to define extreme metal music by its approach of pure atmospheric fury. This isn’t your typical Arch Enemy, Watain or nowadays black metal… The album’s visual presentation is not at once haunting and majestic like Fenrir Prowling nor does it capture the contrast driven mysticism of the crypt-craving bloodlust of Demon Rituals… still, it is violent, striking, imposing, iconic and above all EVIL in all forms and feeling.
Burzum Sha Ghâsh contains almost too many moments that epitomise extreme black metal to be considered anything but the record that answers the question: What is true satanic black metal?
If you need an album to explain, without words or gimmickry, exactly what black metal is… go for Burzum Sha Ghâsh.