Sacrilegium – Anima Lucifera

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label: Pagan Records
Released: 2016
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Band line-up:

Armeus – Drums
Suclagus – Guitars, Bass
Aleksandra – Keys
Nantur Alderon – Vocals

  1. Preludium
  2. Heavenwings Shrugged
  3. Angelus (Anima Lucifera)
  4. Mare Tenebrarum
  5. The Serpent Throne
  6. …and Soul
  7. Venomous Spell of Fate
  8. Desiderium Immortalis
  9. Anima Lucifera
  10. Epilog

When a band returns after a long hard hiatus, there’s always a split of opinion. Are the band back because they genuinely want to play new stuff and make a better career? Or are they just trying to cash in on their cult status gained in their absence?

Well, with new album from Poland’s Sacrilegium, returning after a 15 year split – I can tell you it certainly isn’t the latter for these Pagan gods.

Gods would be an understatement in describing second album ‘Anima Lucifera’ to the listener. This is what you need in order to understand Pagan Black Metal and to know why Poland is becoming the haven of Black Metal in mainland Europe. I could compare the group a lot to fellow Poles Behemoth, but this album sets Sacrilegium up as one of a kind.

‘Anima Lucifera’ begins with a somewhat cosmic opening with the sound of an owl hooting – quite fitting for a band who sing about nature and the cosmic mythologies surrounding the woods. It then flows blissfully along into a somewhat gothic series of melodic pieces but again and again we get more and more extreme and brutal, as much as a good Polish band can do. There is ferocious speed in the rhythm section and the blend of keys and strings will make you wonder if you’re listening to a Norwegian or Swedish veteran. Being able to sound like the classics is always a good thing for black metal in my opinion.

Then we come to the crux of the album, which feels raw but whimsical at the same time with the melodies and brutality both on point. It was an album I didn’t want to end, so it’s definitely got replay value. This is something to go up there with the archetypal pagan black metal bands like Kampfar. Go and buy this album if you’re not familiar with Sacrilegium or the Polish scene. It’ll be the best gateway.

Review by Demitri Levantis