For the Tampere, Finland based Black Metal band Sacrificium Carmen, ‘Nekrognosis – Avain Varjoihin’ is their third album. Formed in 2009, the band took a few years and a demo before releasing their debut ‘Ikuisen Tulen Kammiossa’ in 2015 on Saturnal Records. In 2018 that same label released the second full-length ‘Hermetica’ before the band moved to the German Purity Through Fire label for their latest release.
The type of Black Metal that Sacrificium Carmen plays is very distinctly Finnish in sound, and lands somewhere between the likes of Satanic Warmaster, Behexen, Sargeist and Horna. That means a tad of rawness, sense for groove and a good dose of melancholic riffs. To cut a long story short, however, it doesn’t reach the levels of quality of those bands. The songs simply lack a bit if the rawness and the soul that those bands have in their sound. To come to the defense of Sacrificium Carmen it’s only fair to say that musician-wise they are better than the large majority of the Finnish Black Metal scene. There’s plenty of good riffs, solos and creative drum changes, a nice thick bass sound and diverse vocals. And the songs themselves are fine as well, we’re certainly not dealing with a bunch of amateurs and I’m sure the band takes their craft very seriously. Unfortunately, for me it just never gets into wow categories where it feels exciting or fresh. It just plods along, solid, quite enjoyable and well played but only rarely will something peak the attention.
While I wouldn’t take this record off the record player when it’s playing, I don’t see myself putting it on the player much in the first place either. Without meaning to sound harsh and disrespectful, the high quality of musicianship can’t save ‘Nekrognosis – Avain Varjoihin’ from being only average.