The Portuguese band Sacred Sin released their first demo in 1991, qualifying them as one of the country’s earliest practitioners of metallic extremity. Their debut album Darkside, released in 1993, began a sequence of five albums in which the first letters of the titles spelled out the word “Death”. The last of those, Hekaton – The Return To Primordial Chaos, come out in 2003. And then a long hiatus followed before the band resurrected themselves and released 2017’s Grotesque Destructo Art — which is their most recent album to date.
It’s fair to say that the sound of Sacred Sin has varied over time, with death metal being the core but with changing integrations of elements from other sub-genres. The band’s third album, Anguish... I Harvest, is especially difficult to pigeon-hole in genre terms — and it might be the band’s best and most distinctive album of all.
Originally released in 1999, Anguish... I Harvest will be reissued on April 19th by two Ukrainian labels — GrimmDistribution and Envenomed Music — in a special remastered edition that also includes six bonus tracks from a 1997 rehearsal demo, and today we’re premiering one of the remastered tracks, a song named “Fire Throne“.
The original recording of “Fire Throne” is now roughly 20 years old, but it is far from a relic. It’s fascinating to hear even today, as is Anguish… as a whole. The album sounds as if Sacred Sin were really letting their creative juices flow, such that there is considerable variation among the album tracks. “Fire Throne” in particular has a vividly idiosyncratic character.
The music is produced in a way that provides greater clarity than the more grim and grimy character of earlier releases, and the reason becomes obvious when you hear the song — because the guitarists really put on a show, displaying not only impressive technicality but also a kind of crazed feverishness as they veer from one wild sequence to the next.
Oddly enough, what ties the song together is an insectile “riff” made of rapidly skittering and darting notes over a methodical drum rhythm. A manifestation of manic delirium, it begins and ends the song and surfaces at other places.
In between those episodes of sinister lunacy? Keyboards that resemble the wailing and moaning of wraiths over a more hammering rhythm; battering drum gallops and wisps of thrash riffing; flickering fretwork and braying chords with an ominous magisterial resonance; pounding rhythms and jabbing, pulsating string-work; and rough, vicious, bestial growls that sound like they’re coming from a throat being strangled with barbed-wire.
There’s one other song from the album out in the world right now, and you’ll find it below, too. Its title, “Lead of Insects“, would have suited the song we’re premiering. The music is a gloriously evil and immediately addictive heavy metal romp (that ends too soon).
GrimmDistribution and Envenomed Music will co-release Anguish... I Harvest on April 19th in a jewel-case CD edition limited to 500 copies, with a 12-page booklet and a new design. As mentioned, it includes as a bonus those six tracks from the band’s 1997 rehearsal demo.