This debut album from Finnish dark lords Sacrificium Carmen is very much steeped in the black metal tradition of that region, combining deep, dense harmonic patterns with brutal blastbeats and vocals so evil you can smell their vile stench on the other side of the dark world.
The difference, however, between this particular quintet and many of their contemporary and geographic counterparts is that, where many of the latter attempt to take the genre to ever more grandiose and ridiculously orchestrated levels, leaving behind the raw essence of the music, it is this to which Sacrificium Carmen return. Sung in their native language, ‘Ikuisen Tulen Kammiossa’ has a raw and organic feel about it; one which is very much in the moment and symbolic of musicians in touch with both themselves and the environment around them.
Yes, they can be histrionic when they want to be, especially in terms of Hoath Cambion’s diverse vocal deliver, but where this album works best is when it is at its most simplistic, combining thrash rhythms and melodies with understated blast roll harmonics (such as on ‘Öisen Haahkan Liekessä’) and punky interjections (‘Julman Sanasta’).
‘Ikuisen Tulen Kammiossa’ is by no means a classic black metal album. Far from it. And it most definitely is not the best album of its type you will hear this year. What it is, however, is an impressive debut from a group of artists who seem determined to put their own, if slightly retro-fitted, twist on this particular sub-genre. Which makes it well worth uncovering by followers of metal’s left-hand path.
Lucifer / Öisen Haahkan Liekessä / Pimeän Silmän Goetia / Kaaoksen Käärme / Nemesis / Verialkemi / Julman Sanasta / Yön Kasvot
Recommended listening: Öisen Haahkan Liekessä
‘Ikuisen Tulen Kammiossa’ is out now via Saturnal.