Sadhaka is a new Cascadian black metal band from Olympia, Washington of U.S.A. They were formed in 2012 as a side project of Fauna (ritual ambient black metal) and Vradiazei (dark folk) members. In December of 2012 the band released a self-recorded demo, the 15-minutes digital track “Ancient Ones“, gaining the attention of the Chinese label Pest Productions. They signed a deal with them and in April 2013 they released the debut full-length album “Terma“.
Sadhaka’s name, album title and concept are clearly based on Eastern spiritual traditions and philosophy. At the same time their lyrics reveal a deep connection and respect for the wild Cascadian nature. The band moves in the underground sound aesthetic, which fits more than perfectly with the atmosphere and feeling of their music. “Terma” lasts for over 54 minutes, containing only 4 long compositions, each one more than 10 minutes, including a new studio version of “Ancient Ones“. They play pure atmospheric black metal, with some acoustic and ambient passages. They move between slow and mid-tempo rhythms, with a dark, melancholic, sometimes depressive and suffocating feeling. There is something very honest and natural in their sound and they manage to express their emotions with the less possible means; a decent production and just the typical metal instruments, guitars, bass, drums and vocals. Guitars have a deep tone with a doom drone color, while their vocals are mostly black metal screams, or better cries, not very extreme though. There are also clean male and female vocals, adding a more ritual touch to their songs. Their music sometimes becomes more technical, other times more simple and atmospheric and they manage to sound melodic, without adding catchy or easy to listen melodies.
“Terma” is a very interesting release that fans of atmospheric “Cascadian” black metal can check. You can listen to it for free in their Bandcamp page below, or get the physical album if you prefer. It is released by Pest Productions in a limited to 500 copies 6-panel digisleeve CD, containing all the lyrics and the beautiful illustrations by Feral Daughter. It is also released on special edition tape by Sick Man Getting Sick Records, limited to 200 copies. I hope Sadhaka wasn’t just an one-album-project and that we will listen to more of them in the future.