First of all, I have to admit from the start that I’m not very familiar with the Serbian (extreme) metal scene. The only bands I know of and listened to/saw live are Terrorhammer (review for their album here), The Stone, Nadimac and Infest. The first time I heard about Sacramental Blood was a couple of years ago when they played a show in Bucharest, a concert I could not attend at the time. And now I really regret it.
Well, to begin with, most of the songs on “Ternion Demonarchy” were written between 2009-2012, only a remaster was done by Stefano Morabito (Fleshgod Apocalyse, Hour of Penance, Beheaded) in The 16th Cellar Studio in Rome. The album was relased on May 6th by the Japanese label Ghastly Music and can be found on 3 formats, cd, vinyl and tape.
Let me also admit that back in the days I used to listen to a lot of what’s now called old school death metal: Asphyx, Pestilence, Morbid Angel, Obituary and of course almost everything that came out from Sweden and Sunlight Studios. Over the years, I’ve kinda lost the interest for this genre, only getting back to the classics from time to time, to remember the good old days of my youth.
So, when I got the opportunity to review “Ternion Demonarchy“, I grabbed it with 2 hands because I was really curious to see how a death metal album released by a Serbian band would sound like in 2016.
I have to be honest with you and tell you I was a little…blown away by what came of those speakers. I almost forgot how good it feels to listen to some good quality, technical, brutal death metal once in a while. This album has it all: speed, guttural growling, razor sharp riffs, speed, insane drumming, fucking double bass pedals and speed. This collection of 10 songs (with 3 short intermezzos), stretched a bit over 36 minutes, reeks of death metal done the brutal way. Every line, riff, blast beat falls perfectly into place, like a piece of a sick puzzle (ov flesh).
The first four tracks of the album are a manifestation of speed and insanity, sometimes reminding me of the early Morbid Angel ( David Vincent era) and Obituary ( “Destroyer of Thought and Form” ). I don’t like comparisons too much, but this is exactly how I can describe this.
Track 5, an instrumental called “Aeons” cools the assault down a bit and introduces what is probably the single “ballad” of this album (haha), a slow, twisted mass of burnt decay called “Sanctimonius“. The song is crawling on your skin like a reptile and here Ivan Petrović‘s double bass pedals struck home. Track 7, “The Relic“, is another short instrumental, where acoustic guitars create an eery atmosphere. These 3 songs created a well deserved break, allowing the listener to catch his breath before venturing forth into the black abyss.
The last part of the album brings back the insane speed and the monster that this trio is attacks you once again, with “Living Deaths Descend!” and “Imposed Resurrection“. As a closure, the album ends with another instrumental, “De Praestigiis Daemonum“, leaving you perplexed and wanting for more. I would have preferred another full song instead of the outro, but, nevertheless, “Ternion Demonarchy” is an extremely solid debut with or without this outro.
If I were to rate this album, I would give it a 9/10, it’s so fucking good. Besides the great music, another strong point of this album is what maybe other death metal bands do not have: the cover. The superb artwork was created by the well known artist Juanjo Castellano Rosado, who previously worked with bands like Demoncy, Vomitory, Christ Denied etc.
Sacramental Blood have been active for 14 years now, and even if the line up changes done over the years prevented them to release their first album until now, I don’t regret that it took them that long, because they have released a superb in your face, classic death metal monster. I am really anxious to hear the follow up and to catch them live on tour, I promise this time I’ll be there.
Ternion Demonarchy Tracklist:
2. Buildings of Burning Flesh
3. Nearest to the God
4. Destroyer of Thought and Form
7. The Relic
8. Livid Deaths Descend!
9. Imposed Resurrection
10. De Praestigiis Daemonum
Srđan Todorović: Vocals, Guitars
Ivan Petrović: Drums
Milan Dobrosavljević: Guitars