Sacrilegium returns 20 years later with Anima Lucifera, By Mike Ritchie, 3/23/2016 at 10:15 p.m.
If Iron Maiden fronted by Abbath or Venom’s Cronos backed by speed demon strength blast beats sounds like a harmonizing combo, you might like Anima Lucifera, the second and long awaited release from Poland’s Sacrilegium.
The album, recently streamed via Metal Hammer is the cult black metal bands first release since 96’s Wicher, 20 years ago. Taking their time, they could be avoiding the sophomore curse on Anima Lucifera or, judging by vocalist Nantur’s growling rasp, just spewing a few on record.
Formed in 1993, Nantur and Suclagus (guitarists) have been the band’s constant force from their early 1994 demo Sleeptime followed by Wicher. Nineteen ninety-eight brought new demo Recidivus then 99 brought a new lineup. Sacrilegium had another demo, Embrace the Darkness, only to split up in 2000. A lucky 13 years later, Nantur and Suclagus reunited to bring forth a second helping.
The album title refers directly to a line from a Leopold Staff poem, with lyrical excerpts throughout the albums songs. Nantur’s delivery could either act as a vicious repellent or unique drawing point to selective ears.
It’s scourged black metal accompanied by atmospheric synth backgrounds and setups, like classical ambiance meeting the monster at the bottom of the pit. To the uninitiated A.L. is a unique, albeit bizarre listening experience. Vocals are long and drawn out at times, ready to sink rotting teeth into skin or just viciously rip and tear a huge chunk from the neck. The classical, atmospheric elements presented almost spell out a paradox to the growling monologues, hyper-blast beats. Guitars range from power metal inspired to Iron Maiden influence.
“Preludium” starts the record from deep aquatic submersion with ocean-life noises creating a unique, almost deceptive atmospheric build up for what’s coming.
“Heavenwings Shrugged” kicks out with a power metal riff bounce ushering in the long awaited next chapter for the guys and the rabid, acid-splattered throat of Nantur.
“Angelus (Anima Lucifera)” is orchestra induced in pieces, with keyboards building atmosphere. It’s gnarling, grizzled vocals like the boogie man chasing a child through the woods as the sun sets, slowly getting darker as the shadows get closer.
“Mare Tenebrarum” begins with sounds of the wilderness in the air before guitars and drums crash in like a bear attack, mouth open, with jaws ready to maim and kill. Long-gated, extended growls extend incantations through the speakers like spell-casting teeth after a blood ritual.
“The Serpent Throne” opens with melodious notes and guitar work playing into the waiting warlock’s stench like charm.
“And Soul” combines uber noise and ambiance with classical piano, swirling in the winds of galloping guitars.
“Venomous Spell of Fate,” “Desiderium Immortalis,” and “Anima Lucifera” with “Epilog” finish the offering.
Sacrilegium’s Anima Lucifera is currently available on Pagan Records.
Promo material courtesy of Dewar PR.