Sacrocurse has been writing some grimy, hellish black/death metal for the past five years, becoming a regular name associated with both Hells Headbangers and Iron Bonehead Productions. The latter recently released the group’s second full length album ‘Gnostic Holocaust’, which takes the warlike attack of last year’s ‘Destroying Chapels’ EP and takes things to the next level. With crushing production values and songs that straddle the line between Canadian and South American black/death metal, Sacrocurse’s latest leaves behind nothing but scorched earth.
The current lineup of Sacrocurse has been honing its abilities for the past two years or so, and it definitely shows throughout this album. One of the biggest issues a lot of this genre runs into is its emphasis on noise and a bestial tonality over substance, leading to songs that are constant blast fests that all sound the same. That’s not the case here, as ‘Gnostic Holocaust’ moves between lumbering death metal that recalls both old-school U.S. and South American bands and warlike blasting which channels Canada’s finest. It’s a killer combination that leads to more varied songwriting than you may initially expect, and there are a number of scorching riffs and sudden transitions that help each track to be distinguishable from the last. This is helped out by the production values, which provide just the right amount of separation between guitar, bass, and drums while adding an immense amount of weight to the bottom end of the sound. Sacrocurse gives quite a bit of emphasis to the drums in particular, and the way they’re front and center and constantly pummel away at listeners is where elements of Revenge/Conqueror sometimes come to mind. ‘Gnostic Holocaust’ is easily the best this band has ever sounded, and they have the writing chops to back it up.
Throughout the course of these ten songs the vocals do their best to overwhelm you, working together with the guitar and bass to completely crush everything in their path. ZK’s vocals have a tendency to start towards the lower end and work their way upwards into hellish, inhuman screams that grab you by the throat. Sacrocurse has tended to keep the growls and screams slightly buried in previous releases, letting them blur together with the instrumental attack, but on ‘Gnostic Holocaust’ they tower over the recording and up the intensity even further. It’s an approach that works in the band’s favor and only makes them more unrelenting.
‘Gnostic Holocaust’ comes across as a combination of dense, bottom heavy black/death similar to Archgoat, Canadian war metal, and bestial South American death metal, and that’s a destructive combination. Where so many others have fallen into repetitive blasting and songs that sound the same, Sacrocurse keeps the intensity high while switching things up on a regular basis. Previous releases have left an impression, but it’s clear that on this album the group has unleashed their full potential.