In metal circles, reference to the district of Gdańsk Pomerania in northern Poland tends to mean one thing: Behemoth. Yet this picturesque maritime location has another claim to black metal fame (or perhaps infamy…), and that is the group Sacrilegium.
Friends and peers of Nergal and company, the band were another of the seminal and deeply cult outfits that emerged within the country in the early to mid-90s, forming in 1993 and releasing their much-celebrated album, Wicher, in 1996. Featuring the epic, atmosphere-heavy and synth-infused sound that Poland would become famous for during that decade, it was a record that won the band fans both at home and abroad.
Sadly, despite a few cassette releases that following the album’s release, those eagerly awaiting a full-length follow-up were to be left gravely disappointed and indeed, by the end of the decade the group were no more. Until now, that is. Few could have predicted the group’s return – especially since their central protagonist Nantur relocated and became involved in the publication of obscure, unusual and arcane texts in the intervening years – but against the odds, Sacrilegium are well and truly back. Not only are the group set to play their first performance in a very, very long time (next month, in Gdańsk no less, with support from rising local talents Non Opus Dei, Martwa Aura and Dreadnought) but they have created their first full-length album for 20 years: Anima Lucifera.
Never ones to do things by half, the new opus proves that the group are unwilling to merely draw on past glories. Though drawing upon many of the atmospheric traits of the past, it nevertheless showcases an altogether more muscular and detailed approach, the epic overtones now manifesting through heavier and more complex songwriting. Precise percussive assaults, frosty and embittered riffing, tasteful use of synth and clean guitar and even some slower and more introspective moments combine in a triumphant return to the fore. Though not released until March 18, and April 2 on vinyl, we’re streaming the album a full month in advance, so dive into Anima Lucifera below and give praise to the metal gods!
Enter Sacrilegium’s Facebook realm here
And pre-oder Anima Lucifera here!