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Albert Bell’s Sacro Sanctus - Deus Volt

Albert Bell’s Sacro Sanctus
Deus Volt
by Saxon Davids at 12 December 2014, 9:58 PM

Albert Bell is no stranger to heavy metal, and certainly not an obscure name in his home country, Malta. For 30 years or so, he has been involved in his fair share of bands and projects; from his first band EXCORCIST (who later, after line-up changes, re-named themselves under KREMATION), and then in later years he founded well known doom acts FORSAKEN and NOMAND SON, ultimately defining Malta as the fatherland and leading force of Southern European Doom Metal. And as of recent, he decided to take matters into his own hands and craft his very own solo project entitled (ALBERT BELL’S) SACRO SANCTUS, with its debut album “Deus Volt” being released here in 2014.

“Deus Volt” kicks off straight into a mightily heavy riff that starts off the 8 minute opening track, “The Tears of Isthar”, with no means of any fancy introduction, just pure heavy riffing, the way heavy metal was born to be! For an 8 minute song, it certainly doesn’t feel that way, this song powers through nicely from start to finish with a good sense of structure, Albert really does seem to know his stuff when it comes to composition arrangement, and some of the guitar work already really impresses me. My only problem here is the vocals, which is just a personal issue, it’s not my really my cup of tea and at times they do feel ill-delivered and slightly weak. But having said that, most of the music certainly makes up for that.
“Arcana Imperii” is next and is one of my favorites; straight away I can hear the uncanny influence of BLACK SABBATH in the guitar work, and its not unlike the song “Black Sabbath” actually; It starts very dark, slow and heavy, to then speed up towards the middle and really brings up the tone and atmosphere very well, its very hard to not bang your head to the latter end of this track!

Despite there being a lot excellent moments on this album, I can’t help but think ‘hang on, I know this riff…’ or ‘this feels familiar’. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fun album to listen to and the re-playability is a certainty, especially with great songs to offer such as “Beatification of the Dead”, “Defender of the Holy Cross” and the brilliant title track, but there isn’t enough originality to really stand out above others, although, the subject material revolving around this album is something I haven’t seen any other band write about; He’s done his research in the mythology and history of these stories very well, that’s all I’ll say about that… I don’t want to spoil it!

I’ve never really considered myself a huge fan of Doom Metal, but I think this album his forced me to reach out and dig into more artists like SACRO SANCTUS, so in that sense, this album is a success and is definitely something you should listen out for, but I hope that whenever Albert Bell releases his next solo album… It will be a little bit more outside the ordinary, with more original ideas rather than recycled classics.

2 Star Rating

1. The Tears of Ishtar
2. Arcana Imperii
3. Beatification of the Dead
4. Ordo Templaris
5. At the Horns of Hattin
6. Defender of the Holy Cross
7. Deus Volt (The Siege of Ascalon)
Albert Bell - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Robert Spiteri - Drums
Record Label: Metal On Metal Records


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