Monday, March 16, 2020

Sacrilege - "The Court of the Insane" (Pure Steel Records, 2019)

Band: Sacrilege
Title: The Court of the Insane
Genre: Heavy Metal/NWOBHM
Time: 55.12 min
Release date: 2nd August 2019
Vote: 82/100

Ladies and gentlemen, today I’ll talk you about a piece of NWOBHM history! In fact, today you have to read a nice review about Sacrilege, a quartet that, leaded since their foundation in 1982 by the singer/guitarplayer Bill Beadle (he is their only original member to be in their current line-up), was a part of the NWOBHM movement. But, as for many bands belonging to this movement, also Sacrilege faced an unlucky fate since they lasted for only 5 years between 1982 and 1987, managing in no ways to release a full-lenght album. Fortunately they were reformed in 2012 and, since then, they faced an incredible explosion of creativity because of 7 full-lenght albums released between 2011 and 2019 (yes, even though the band wasn't still officially reformed, it seem that they recorded two albums during the years 2009 and 2010). So, I received their last work, “The Court of the Insane”, through their Italian manager Valeria Campagnale, that runs also two heavy metal/hard rock websites called Rockers and Other Animals and Insane Voices Labyrinth. In return, she’ll review my ebook about proto-black metal entitled “Nel Segno del Marchio Nero”, that I released on 24th March 2019.

The first thing to say about “The Court of the Insane” is that it is an album full of long songs since they can reach also the lenght of 7 minutes (“No Bequeath”), so it deserves many listening sessions in order to understand it in its entirety. I am saying this also because we are in presence of a band playing an interesting kind of heavy metal. More specifically, theirs is a sort of gloomy and melancholic heavy metal with some traces of doom metal here and there and there are also some more rockish tunes, as it’s normal for a NWOBHM band. Notable is the interaction between the two guitarists, with a Paul McNamara literally on fire because he is often able to play very fast and frantic guitar solos, alternating them with more melodic solos. Plus, I like very much some vocal lines of Beadle since some of them are refined and creative (in this sense, tracks like the same “No Bequeath” or “The Prophet”, that is a ballad with great lyrics opening in a very atmospheric way, are amazing!).
A fine example of this style comes already from the opening song “Celestial City”, that contains even some keyboards, which are present also in other tracks like the apathic “Depression” or the gothic and dramatic “Unhinged Mind”… but I can still understand who played them because this detail isn’t written in any places! Anyway, my favorite number isn’t “Celestial City” but “Bring Out Yer Dead”, that ends with the fireworks with a long and violent guitar solo. But to say the entire truth, the Sacrilege are also able to create more classic heavy metal songs à la Judas Priest (with the addition of falsettos by Beadle!) as the vigorous “Lies” while the album ends its path with the funny “Ride Free”, that opens with a roaring motorbike so to play a contagious hard rock anthem (but I must admit that, from its intro, I expected to listen to some more speed metal stuff!)

To sum all this, “The Court of the Insane” is a very good album from a band that has still a strong will to show a lot after so much stuff released since 2011. Okay, it’s not a masterpiece because I wanted to listen to more vigorous songs in the vein of “Lies” (in fact, this kind of tracks are present only in the beginning and in the end of the album) so to balance better the tracklist, also because, at a certain point, there are too ballads one after another ("The Prophet" and the following "Unhinged Mind"). But who cares? These Sacrilege (don’t confound them with the British crust/doom metal band, mind you!) play in a distinctive way and, in addition, they know how to build good songs through amazing climaxes, as strongly exemplified by the titletrack, that I included in the new episode of “Come on, burn my ears!”, because the band shot a videoclip for it.

1 - Celestial City
2 - Lies
3 - The Court of the Insane
4 - Bring Out Yer Dead
5 - Depression
6 - No Bequeath
7 - The Prophet
8 - Unhinged Mind
9 - I Can Hear the Silence
10 - Ride Free


Bill Beadle - vocals/guitars
Paul McNamara - lead guitars
Jeff Rolland - bass
Neil Turnbull - drums

Pure Steel Records:

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