Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sacramentum - Far Away from the Sun

Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Country: Sweden
Year: 1996
Label: Adipocere Records

Sorry about the delay on new posts, guys - I've been very busy over the past two weeks. But here I am now, so onward to more metal! Today I'm going with Sacramentum's Far Away From the Sun, an awesome and, according to many fans, criminally overlooked and severely underrated Swedish melodic black metal classic. The first discussion point when talking about this album is  usually whether or not Sacramentum were just a Dissection clone. The answer here, I will venture to say, is no. Sure, the unmistakably Swedish melodic tendencies are there, as is the magnificent Kristian Wåhlin cover artwork, but Sacramentum were indeed their own band. While Dissection incorporated touches of death metal elements and went for a decidedly more aggressive approach on their landmark albums, Sacramentum had both feet firmly planted on the black metal side of the fence for this one, opting for a more atmosphere-centric sound, Far Away From the Sun being an ice-cold, mist-shrouded journey through majestic nightscapes that truly embodies its own unique identity. This is a beautiful, epic album with an awesome production that allows all the instruments to be heard while retaining a distant, reverb-saturated atmosphere. I really love albums that truly sound like the cover artwork, and this is definitely one of those cases, the freezing, majestic riffs taking the listener on a journey through dark, arcane fortresses, ancient sunless forests, and towering snow-clad mountains, an atmosphere that truly pervades the music from the beginning of the opening track to the terminal fade of the final song. At the very least, give this an attentive listen before writing it off as a Dissection clone. The similarities are certainly there, as mentioned before, but this is definitely a beast of its own.

For fans of Dissection, Thulcandra, and Abyssos.

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