Sahg’s Memento Mori International Release Next Week
Since their beginnings in 2004, the heavy rock powerhouse SAHG have delivered Grade-A hard rock of the fist-bumping and heavy-leaded sort. The crisp sound on their fifth and latest effort, Memento Mori, defies the idea of simple genre categorization in favor of delivering a damn good heavy metal album,
During its creation, the album title remained undecided. “Memento Mori was one of several options that we had on note for a long time,” comments vocalist/guitarist Olav Iversen. “But then Lemmy died and Bowie died. All of a sudden, all these rock icons disappeared – one by one. These people made their imprint on history and influenced us musically since childhood. It made a great impression on a personal level, and started a grieving process that influenced the making of the album. Suddenly it was very clear what the album title would be. Even immortal legends like Bowie and Lemmy don’t live forever..”
Following last year’s departures of drummer Thomas Lønnheim and founding member Thomas Tofthagen, SAHG faced existential challenges. Olav Iversen comments: “at that point it seemed like Sahg was heading towards the end. But we turned around and came out stronger than ever, with this album as our testimony. Still, we got a feel of how fragile existence is, Sahg is still alive. Memento Mori is living proof of that.”
The change in lineup came as a blessing in disguise, as it allowed Sahg to explore new avenues sonically. Olav Iversen and Tony Vetaas are joined by guitarist Ole Walaunet and drummer Mads Lilletvedt, who both hail from the more extreme end of the metal genre. Their aggressive approach was decisive in shaping the sound on Memento Mori.
The cover art for Memento Mori was created in collaboration with illustrator and graphic artist Robert Høyem, who also made the artwork for previous album, Delusions Of Grandeur. But this time, the visuals make use of a different side of Høyem’s design skills. “We wanted a very iconic, simplistic expression for this artwork, to emphasize the harsh thematics of the album”, Olav explains. “Robert’s hand-drawing style is perfect for this, and combined with the stylistic symbols we use, it visualizes exactly the powerful, dark atmosphere that we want to create with this album.”
SAHG is vocalist/guitarist Olav Iversen, bassist Tony Vetaas, guitarist Ole Walaunet, and drummer Mads Lilletvedt.