Sacrocurse - Gnostic Holocaust 01Sacrocurse’s 2014 debut Unholier Master holds a special place in my heart, but not for obvious reasons. If you’ll allow me to indulge in some selfish personal reflection. Unholier Master represented my first published piece here at Angry Metal Guy, so naturally, it has conjured up pleasant feelings of nostalgia as I prepare to sink my teeth into the band’s sophomore LP, Gnostic Holocaust. Unfortunately, Unholier Master failed to raise my excitement all that much, with the destructive duo playing a crude style of old school blackened death, cut from a particularly raggedy cloth. Despite an admirably feral delivery and primal display of unfiltered aggression, the songwriting didn’t really offer anything particularly compelling. Beyond the capable performances and fierce delivery, it proved a rather unremarkable and forgettable release. Now fittingly switching back to the unvarnished depths of the Iron Bonehead roster, can Sacrocurse rectify their deficiencies and release an album able to stand up amidst the high-quality metal releases bestowed upon us over the past few months?

“Just Fucking Die” is a great opening song title for the hellish ride Sacrocurse embark on over ten crazed tracks of raw, old-school brutality. Hammering blasts, distant buzzing guitars, and raw-throated growls collide, as speedy refrains are tempered by mid-paced sections and noisy solos. The sheer ugliness and ferocity of the song are impressive, even it fails to deliver anything particularly memorable. This is an ongoing issue that plagues the album, with truly memorable moments or standout passages few and far between. Contrasting against the worrying lack of depth and memorability in the song-writing is the undeniable charm of Sacrocurse’s uncompromising execution. From the no-holds-barred drum battery, ragged basement hum of the guitars, and thick, crusty vocals, Sacrocurse sound like they may very well be deranged and primitive servants of Satan. And while the music isn’t especially original or engaging beyond fleeting moments of head-banging satisfaction, the near constant waves of blasting fury and jacked-up energy has a certain exhilarating charm. Sadly, it isn’t enough to elevate the album or compensate for the one-dimensional aspects and lack of penetrating hooks.

Songs like the noisy and relentless depravity of “Endless Khaoz” and lo-fi screech and pummel of “Vengeance Consumed” are indicative of the album’s flaws, missing distinctive elements or anything to really grip the listener and sustain long-term interest. It’s not all grim though, as occasionally Sacrocurse gain greater traction, but the payoffs aren’t substantial enough to override the album’s weak points. “Maze of Serpents” mixes up the dynamics successfully around its halfway point, as inspired vocals and filthy grooves fight off the monotony and some decent riffs grab your attention. The title track is another solid song, largely benefiting from its off-the-chain intensity, greater variation in drum patterns, and thrashy bent, featuring whiffs of Possessed and early Slayer, but in a more evil and extreme form. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough strength in the material from front to back to reach the reasonable heights of Sacrocurse’s better songs.

Sacrocurse - Gnostic Holocaust 02

Aside from the lackluster song-writing holding the album back, Gnostic Holocaust’s baffling production job does the album no favors whatsoever. The mix is all drums and vocals, with the guitars often pushed into the background, almost sounding like they were playing in a room down the hall from where the rest of the album was recorded, greatly stifling their impact. Meanwhile, the relentless, though slightly one-dimensional drumming, dominates everything at the obnoxious forefront of the mix, the in-your-face snare tone, and heavy blasting becoming a distracting drawback over the course of the album.

On the surface, there’s nothing all that wrong with Sacrocurse, and I can imagine less discerning metalheads getting a kick out of the band’s unapologetically primitive and relentless slaughter. Certainly, Sacrocurse perform passionately and nail their grimy underground, old-school aesthetic with aplomb. Occasionally a noteworthy riff or passage will crop-up which is enjoyable enough short term, but Gnostic Holocaust’s deficiencies in the song-writing and production departments are too glaring to enthusiastically recommend the album, nor is there anything enticing me to return.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 6  |  Format Reviewed: 320 kbps MP3
Label: Iron Bonehead Productions
Websites: ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/Sacrocurse
Releases Worldwide: October 27th, 2017

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  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    FVCK YEAH
    HÖVSTON ÄSTROS WÖRLD SERIES CHÄMPS

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I swear, that comment policy banner is working some nearly irresistible reverse psychology on me.

    • Don’t do it, man! Think of the children!

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Leave my sexual preferences out of this!

        Oh f- BANNED

        • Angry Metal Watch-list forwarded to the proper authorities.

        • HeavyMetalHamster

          Save me a seat……I’ll bring a six pack of Schlitz.

          • wayne the devil

            Schlitz was a term me and my buds used way back when to describe soft serve shits that were induced by cheap beer hangovers….and of course there were also the Blatz……

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            I will provide the means to that end.

          • wayne the devil

            Now the Blatz were mixed drink or cheap whiskey explosive shits that were similar to a Picasso dump…and now I am done…

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            Also known here in Ontario as the Hiroshima poops……hits the entire bowl but not the water…..and I will let myself out of the hall.

          • wayne the devil

            perfect, man, perfect…

          • Name’s Dalton

            Why am I laughing so hard at this thread?

          • HeavyMetalHamster

            Cos we are filthy and simple minded….and we can all relate.
            Probably more so for you swill drinking Americans.
            For us Canadian beer drinkers the experience is more likely due to bad chicken wings.

          • sir_c

            With the schlitz being a heavier form of a shart?
            Where you can shit through in insect screen without hitting the gauze

  • wayne the devil

    Okay album…..killed by production. Good review.
    PS-based on yesterday’s reviews ‘Dick’ seems to be a trigger…nice banner!

    • Eli Valcik

      The Dicks ruined everything!

  • Iain Gleasure

    Gnostic Holocaust. Reminds me that Canada recently opened a national Holocaust Memorial. Having one seems odd to me for few reasons.

    First, one tends to memorialize things that you have a person connection to- ie. war memorials. Canada hardly took any Jewish refugees from the Holocaust but memorializing it on a national scale almost seems…Too much? Almost like we are saying we were active participants in the Holocaust and must atone. This is concerning to me.

    In addition if it is meant to remind us to make sure such things never happen again then surely we should have a Holodomor memorial instead of or before a Holocaust one? Canada has many more Ukrainians than Jews and the Holodomor was a genocide that killed far more people than the Holocaust- thus a more shocking crime to be prevented, and with a stronger Canadian connection.

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      HODOR.

      • wayne the devil

        Tsjuder.

    • Name’s Dalton

      More Ukrainians died in the Soviet’s planned starvation than Jews at the hands of the Germans? Citations, please.

      Both were horrible and unimaginably cruel, and there is no need to diminish one to shed light on the horrors of another. It’s estimated that some 6 million Jews died; estimates put the Ukrainian death toll around 4 million.

      • Iain Gleasure

        The court of appeal of Kiev found a Holodomor demographic toll of 10 million in 2010- comprising 4 million direct starvation and 6 from birth deficits. The joint UN statement made on the 70th anniversary of the event put it at 7-10 million direct deaths. Admittedly the estimates due vary widely but such is also the case for the Holocaust, only made more difficult by the large number of non-Jews and Ukrainians involved in both crimes.

        In any case my point was not really the death numbers or diminishing the Holocasut. It’s more the affect those numbers had on Canada as we put up a big national Holocaust memorial but not a Holodomor one. Our connection to Ukraine and Russia quite frankly is stronger than to Judaism so would it not make sense to memorialize crimes in Ukraine and make the fight against such events that much more poignant?

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    This review has been posted for 2 hours and we have already covered all aspects of the depraved human condition.
    Well done fellow metallers. ….we’ll done.

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      ¡Joder!

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Si

    • Nukenado

      We’re all metal bonerheads.

  • This is the single worst thread in AMG history (2009 to today). You’re all animals.

    • Philip Pledger

      Look on the bright side: it took like eight years for a comment thread here to devolve into a wall of wanton phalluses. That HAS to be an internet record.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      This is all your fault.

  • Nice lively discussion of the writeup and music, erbody.
    Solid review, L. Music’s meh, but ya done good.

  • Tofu muncher

    too bad about the production. In this day and age, listening to an album that sounds like really early kreator is too much of a bother.