Originally released in 1996 Sweden’s SACRAMENTUM’s impossible to find debut is finally being re-released through Century Media records. Often looked upon as an early Black Metal classic, their landmark release “Far Away From The Sun” is everything one would expect from an early Black Metal album. It is cold, raw and epic. For most of the record tremolo guitars, blast beats and an oversaturated vocal dominate. There is a touch of Gothic Metal that a lot of the mid nineties black metal releases incorporated.
Heavily influenced by DISSECTION, SACRAMENTUM gear their style to a very fast pace. The record gets off to an amazing start as the legendary track “Fog’s Kiss” comes roaring out of the speakers at a million miles an hour. A melodic guitar riff is centred between ferocious blast beats. Halfway through the song the gothic influences rear their head as vocalist Nisse does his best imitation of Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell. The last two minutes of this track is legendary. They slow things down to a moderate pace and an amazing arpeggiated guitar riff is repeated to end the song. “Fog’s Kiss” is one of the reasons “Far Away From The Sun” is looked upon as a legendary release, truly monumental.
The tempo picks right back up with the grand title track “Far Away From The Sun”. Another barrage of blast beats furiously pummel the listener before a larger than life guitar riff settles in. Some amazing drumming from Nicklas Rudolfsson highlights this majestic song, he slays on the kit and is one of the best parts of the record.
The highlight is the melodic “Cries From A Restless Soul.” Starting out with an insane blast beat and quick picked tremolo guitar riffs, Nisse’s vocals are so over the top with effects that it creates an echo on his voice that you would think he was screaming up from hell itself. Half way through the track it completely changes direction into a more straightforward gallop. Melodic guitars are beautifully layered, as the outro is pure black metal perfection. It is one of my favourite black metal moments.
Remastered by the legendary Dan Swano, “Far Away From The Sun” sounds stunning. Brought up to date with a crisp tight production this record has never sounded better. The separation in the instrumentation really helps digest these tracks, as they are intense, fast and complex. Like a lot of releases in this genre repetitiveness does set in and the record can be overwhelming. The front end of the record is stacked and it loses a little steam towards the end.
SACRAMENTUM released two more records, “The Coming Of Chaos” and “Thy Black Destiny” both through Century Media Records. Each record is outstanding in there own right and equally as good as their debut. Adopting a more melodic approach later in their career, all of their albums deserve to be dissected and in every Metal head’s collection. Unfortunately never reaching the levels of success as a lot of their peers SACRAMENTUM split up in 2001.
1. Fog’s Kiss 2. Far Away From The Sun 3. Blood Shall Be Spilled 4. When Night Surrounds Me 5. Cries From A Restless Soul 6. Obsolete Tears 7. Beyond All Horizons 8. The Vision And The Voice 9. Darkness Falls For Me