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Saille is a Belgian melodic/symphonic black metal band formed by keyboardist Dries Gaerdelen in 2008. In 2011 they released their debut album, Irreversible Decay, which was followed by the albums Ritu in 2013 and Eldritch in 2014.

In 2016 Dries Gaerdelen left the band leaving them without any original members, though guitarist Reinier Schenk has performed on all Saille releases. However they have continued performing and released their fourth album Gnosis in 2017.

- Biography by adg211288, January 2017.
Thanks to J-Man for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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SAILLE Discography

SAILLE albums / top albums

SAILLE Irreversible Decay album cover 4.15 | 6 ratings
Irreversible Decay
Melodic Black Metal 2011
SAILLE Ritu album cover 4.03 | 5 ratings
Melodic Black Metal 2013
SAILLE Eldritch album cover 3.88 | 3 ratings
Melodic Black Metal 2014
SAILLE Gnosis album cover 4.18 | 9 ratings
Melodic Black Metal 2017
SAILLE V album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Melodic Black Metal 2021

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SAILLE MMXX album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Melodic Black Metal 2020

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SAILLE Reviews


Album · 2017 · Melodic Black Metal
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Melodic black metal ruminating on the musicians' personal occult interests is hardly new - Dissection were all about that, after all - but on Saille's Gnosis they offer a solid and enjoyable example of the form. Guest performer Dries Gaerdelen's keyboards and other features add some tasteful symphonic touches, but these are neither bombastically prominent enough to drag the album into symphonic black metal territory or clumsily heavy-handed enough to overwhelm what the rest of the band is doing.

With the sort of tributes to Biblical fallen angels, Norse gods, H.P. Lovecraft and Aleister Crowley that have littered innumerable metal albums over the years, you'd think that this would have entered the realm of utter cliche, but whilst there's nothing lyrically new under the sun here, musically there's plenty for melodic black metal fans to sink their teeth into.


Album · 2017 · Melodic Black Metal
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Kev Rowland
Belgian act Saille are back with their fourth album, and it is the first one I’ve come across. Having heard this, I am seriously thinking that I need to go back and listen to the others. This is melodic Black Metal with some symphonic influences, punishing and brutal yet also with a lot of care, and even delicacy. This isn’t a simple full-on assault of the senses, but rather something that has been carefully created, and I was not surprised to see that it was mixed and mastered at Hertz Studio in Bialystok, Poland by the Wieslawscy brothers (Behemoth, Decapitated, Vader). It is the production that allows every single guitar note to stand on their own, for the bass to be the driving force, and for the drums to provide the necessary backbone while Dennie Grondelaers is in in commanding form.

As to the lyrics, Donnie says “With 'Gnosis' (Greek for 'knowledge') we venture into the world of the Promethean ideal and its Luciferian counterpart. This album explores a multitude of historical, mythological and fictional sources that tell us about the strife for knowledge and its (potentially devastating) consequences. We also visit several creation myths and scratch the surface of Aleister Crowley's Thelema. The concept was born during research into Russian composer Alexander Scriabin and his works. His 'Prometheus: The Poem of Fire' didn't serve as a direct source for the lyrics, but it lit the fire that made us venture into above topics." Now you know.

The band themselves feel that this is more in keeping with their second album, ‘Ritu’, yet they knew it had to be harder so they deliberately did that with the music and amended their logo, to show the slight change in approach. Unless you enjoy Black Metal then this isn’t for you, but if you are, then you need to seek this out as this is powerful stuff.


Album · 2017 · Melodic Black Metal
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To me it doesn't seem so long ago since the Belgian black metal band Saille burst onto the scene with their impressive debut album Irreversible Decay (2011), but lo and behold it was six years ago already. A lot has happened to the band in the time between that first album and this latest one, their fourth release, Gnosis (2017). For one thing there is only one constant member in the band between the two releases, guitarist Reinier Schenk (who primarily played bass on the debut), as founder member Dries Gaerdelen has stepped down from the band full-time, though he still plays on Gnosis as a guest musician, as the band have continued as a five-piece.

Saille have always had one of those black metal sounds where it's pretty easy to pigeon-hole them in the symphonic black metal genre due to their classical influenced aspects, but such has always been an overstatement about how symphonic their music actually is. They're a melodic black metal at heart and Gnosis is no different in that respect. However where the last couple of Saille records Ritu (2013) and Eldritch (2014) felt like more of the same as Irreversible Decay and thus somewhat derivative of that first album, this one immediately strikes me as considerably more fresh. The riffs of Reinier Schenk and new guitarist Collin Boone display a progressive and technical style in some of these tracks (such as Pandaemonium Gathers and Prometheus) that even when placed within the same polished melodic black metal sound as before change the dynamic of the band a whole lot. Overall it still feels very much like a Saille album, but not a rehashed Saille album and that's one of the reasons that I enjoy it a whole lot more than the prior album Eldritch, which I felt was solid work, but also too safe and familiar. Up until this point I'd have said that Saille's releases were giving diminishing returns, but Gnosis bucks that trend in a big way.

Indeed, while their debut album Irreversible Decay still holds a special place in my black metal collection, I have to say that with Gnosis Saille have come up with what I'd easily call their next best record. The band have produced a bunch of hard hitting black metal tracks here, that convey a number of different moods and atmospheres. It's a consistent release that doesn't make me feel as if any track is filler, but the standouts have to be Pandaemonium Gathers, Thou, My Maker and the closing duo of Magnum Opus and 1904 Era Vulgaris, which flow into each other. If you like your black metal to be direct, polished and epic, then Gnosis is a damn fine album to add to your collection.

SAILLE Eldritch

Album · 2014 · Melodic Black Metal
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Eldritch (2014) is the third full-length album by Belgian black metal act Saille. The band has had a couple of line-up changes since their last album Ritu (2013) with Kevin De Leener replacing Gert Monden on drums and the departure of bassist Didier Vancampo, whose role is filled on Eldritch by guitarist Reinier Schenk, which is actually the role he held on the band's debut album Irreversible Decay (2011). For Eldritch Saille have drawn inspiration from both classic and modern horror literature.

If you've heard either of the previous two Saille records already then Eldritch is probably going to come across as Saille by numbers at this point. Depending on the point of view you want to take can be seen as both a good or a bad thing. It's good on one hand because Saille have always been a pretty impressive force on the black metal scene since Irreversible Decay dropped. Notably the band, whose music mixes melodic and symphonic black metal ideas, don't make liberal use of keyboards to create their symphony but feature actual instruments on their albums as well including cello, violin and trumpet and that's something that continues on Eldritch. They have real dedication to getting their sound just right and do it authentically to boot. But at the same time it could be argued that there hasn't been any significant growth for Saille as a band over the course of their first three albums and while I do consider their debut Irreversible Decay to be a black metal masterpiece I wouldn't say that they have nowhere they could take their music following setting the bar so high.

This is not to say that Eldritch is a significantly lesser effort from the band any more than Ritu was. I'm pretty sure if this was the first time I'd heard Saille then the album would have the same magic as Irreversible Decay did for me back in 2011. They're one of my personal favourite black metal acts by this point and Eldritch reinforces that opinion, but I have to grudgingly admit that it does feel somewhat safe for them. A masterfully crafted kind of safe yes, but safe all the same. Expectations are met but not exceeded. It would be nice to hear what Saille could conjure up if they were willing to step out of their comfort zone a little more than they have done so far in their career. That almost seems an outrageous expectation given that they have always been more than a cut above the standard for melodic black metal but particularly on Ritu and Eldritch I keep hearing these little bits of other ideas creeping in ranging from a folksy melody to a more complex progressive section. There's a lot that can be done using black metal as a base and there have always been times where the music has seemed that Saille wants to (and more to the point has the ability to) explore fresh ideas but for some reason stick to the tried and tested stuff. That's not say that Eldritch is a total carbon copy, if anything this is a more atmospheric sounding record than Ritu although the band never crosses into full on atmospheric black metal territory.

Despite the lack of growth demonstrated by the band it would be rather unfair I think to not still score Eldritch quite high. Despite the still unexplored potential Saille still show who're the kings of melodic black metal on Eldritch.


Album · 2013 · Melodic Black Metal
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"Ritu" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Belgian black metal act Saille. The album was released through Code666 Records in January 2013. It´s the follow up to "Irreversible Decay" from 2011.

The music on the album is melodic/symphonic black metal. A reference to Dimmu Borgir isn´t all wrong although I would probably call the music on "Ritu" epic black metal rather than symphonic. Sure there are omnipresent keyboards, but they share the soundscape pretty equally with guitars, bass, drums and vocals. The music is rather intense and can be furiously fast-paced, but also dynamic with both tempo and atmosphere changes. The vocals are mostly delivered in raspy black metal style, but there are spoken word passages on the album too.

What strikes you imediately when listening to "Ritu" is the high level musicianship. These guys are incredibly talented and play their music tight and with great imagination. Even though their influences are quite easy to spot and name, they do twist their sound enough to stand out. Another asset is the very well sounding production which really creates the right environment for the material to shine. Powerful and clear yet raw enough to pull teeth out.

If you normally don´t appreciate black metal in the vein of Dimmu Borgir, "Ritu" is probably not an album you´ll enjoy much more than the output of the Norwegian guys or any of their ilk, but fans of that majestic genre of black metal should be very pleased by the material on the album. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved for this excellent high quality release.

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