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Sacrophobia – Dark Requiems

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Sacrophobia from Madrid, Spain played straight forward, old school death thrash. Miguel on bass, Juan on lead guitar, Juancar on rhythm guitar, Javi on drums and Jesus on vocals completed the lineup. Dark Requiems, a compilation of material from their active years (tracks featured span from ’91-’93), released in this year on Xtreem Music, marks the continuation of what appears to be a resurging popularity in the old school sounds. The overall production is quite raw, with things getting muddled during the faster moments. The guitar tone is simple and raw as well, just a mike in front of a cabinet with zero effects, and not much in the way of EQ’ing either. Hell, on a couple songs I get the impression they set up a single mike in the middle of their practice room and recorded songs in that manner. I’m kidding. Kind of. Guitars are less “riffy” than I personally prefer, and seem more concerned with establishing abrasive textures and motifs. There is some competent and spooky lead guitar work going on here as well, and there’s nary a hint of melody to be heard anywhere. If you’re not a fan of raw, evil, blackened death thrash, you won’t find much to like on Dark Requiems. The slower passages are a treat that will bring a moustache-twisting grin to your mug, and I personally feel it’s during these darker moments where Dark Requiems shines. Vocals are low and completely unintelligible, and that might be an issue for you or not. Jesus might be singing in an alien language not native to Earth, and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, though all kidding aside I’m assuming the lyrics are in Spanish. But they are competently delivered, and match the rawness of the album. Every so often, something vaguely sounding like a bass guitar will peek through the cacophony of sound, but that’s all the listener gets. There is zero EQ, Pre-Cambrian era mixing and mastering, no effects, no reverb, no frills, no bullshit. Just a bunch of pissed off dudes on instruments, out to annihilate the planet. Not really my shot of Jäger, but I know of a shitload of friends who will worship this. And you just might too. (D.L. Beaven)