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Sacramentum - The Coming of Chaos
Review: While melodic metal devolves to theatrical gestures and gothic harmonic sensibilities a vantage point of its composition and origins can be had in observation of Sacramentum, who have modulated from a more classically-influenced rock-structured black metal band in the vein of Dissection to a brilliant hybrid of black metal's rhythmic drive, death metal's architecture, the melodic variability shared by both black metal and classical music, and the driving sense of motion riff rhythms originated by speed metal bands.
To incorporate a distributed structure Sacramentum bend their melodies into visions of a changing beast through a language of high-speed, intensely melodic, violent and atonal riffs producing through their collective interpretation a vision of ephemeral affinity vanishing in the distintegration of tone, a worldscape of violent self-recreation. These support the often simple but epic song structures emphasizing the fundamental cycles of organisms fighting for existence in a predominantly wasted world of need and opportunity. From speed metal, however, comes the ability to manage the weight of these collected structures through shifting and radically variant tempos that hold together by maintaining the fundamental rhythmic shape of each song's dominant melodic framework, as expressed in the riff.
Vocals are a black metal rasp and invidual playing is distinctive and for the most part, very impressive; from the tight riffing of the guitars to the protean drumming, an adept and alert voice keeping up conversation behind the complexity of guitar communication, all the way to melodic shadowing through expertly synchronized bass playing. Through a combination of enlightened composition and careful production work the complexity of multiple guitar tracks is preserved despite heavy distortion and deliberate atmospheric diffusion of both layers.
To call this an excellent black metal band would be doing Sacramentum less than justice - these are innovators and creators of powerful and distinctive metal, material that holds its essence from their idealistic and progressive first EP to the acclaimed and vastly creative, "Far Away from the Sun," the first Sacramentum full-length, released on Adipocere, continuing as evolution to "The Coming of Chaos," which integrates band history and consistent direction in a style that retains all of the power, violence, and lifespirit of classic bands throughout metal's generations.