Sacrilegion – From Which Nightmares Crawl Review

As November slips into Mariah Carey’s proprietary month of December, the overall quality of the promos oozing into the AMG storage sump drops precipitously. Only the desperate or foolhardy aim to drop albums in December and much of what is released should never have seen the light of day. That makes any sort of seasonal gambling with unknown acts especially treacherous. Because I’m an ape who likes to live dangerously, I took a high-risk flyer and grabbed the debut album by Salt Lake City’s Sacrilegion. Listed blandly as death metal, this young act spearheaded by vocalist/guitarist Connor Carlson is a wild, wooly slaughterhouse full of bloody hooks and searing riffs that will make you stand up straight and pay close attention. It took about a minute of play before I knew my high-stakes gambit would be paying out handsomely, and From Which Nightmares Crawl would not be a December coal fire in my unwashed stocking. Fortune favors the olde, motherfuckers!

Opener “A Terrible Pilgrimage to Seek the Nighted Throne” is wordy but wastes no time terrorizing doubters and naysayers. It’s an intriguing blend of Morbid Angel-esque snakey riffs, the heavy armor crush of Bolt Thrower, and the quirkiness and the ‘throw everything at the listener’ approach of The Chasm. The song may only be 5:20 but it feels like it holds enough ace riffs for a full album. The death metal brutality gets transitioned to smart traditional metal riffs and blackened icy moments, and the mammoth beefbrained chug at 2.50 is the gore icing on the cadaver cake. “Puritanical Dementia” is another scorcher with buzzing, herky-jerks riffs that approximate an amped-up Roomba careening off furniture and walls as it hunts dirt and small pets to annihilate. This one is sheer death metal glory distilled down to a nasty 3 minute shot of adrenaline and you need it in your bloodstream. “Tainting the Sky With Red” continues the high-grade radiation exposure until your skin turns a lovely shade of dead, and riffs here blend death and black metal influences impressively.

“Legacy of the Impaler” is another triumph, sporting a big Morbid Angel influence in the chaotic riffs but branching out into epic, majestic planes and finishing the journey with highly atmospheric guitar work. There’s also a De Profundis vibe in the song structure that makes everything go down as smoothly as a molten iron old fashioned. “The Hollow Blue Eyes of Yomi” is another absolute bunker-buster of riffs that borrows the best of The Chasm’s insanity and parlays it into a killer piece of off-the-rails death metal. There are enough quality leads in this song for a number of less fortunate acts, but Sacrilegion hoards them all like Scrooge McDuck. There are no bad songs present, though a few miss hitting the upper levels like the aforementioned killers. This drags the overall package down, but only slightly. At a tight 44 minutes, the album flies by and plasters you with riffs the entire way. The production is quite good with a big, beefy guitar tone and a pleasantly warm overall mix.

I’m highly impressed by Connor Carlson’s top-notch death vocals which are deep and guttural enough to resonate and pop. His blackened screams and rasps work very well too. The guitar work by Connor and Geronimo Santa Cruz is the real star here though. There are just so many awesome riffs and wild fretboard masterclass moments that your head will be kept on a swivel. I was very taken by the guitars on the recent De Profundis platter, and this is at least its equal. The way they blend and twist the death, black, and traditional metal styles into interesting shapes is exceptional and makes every song an unpredictable thrill ride. The whole band is in fine form and the propulsive drumming by Ashton Childs is yet another major weapon in their vast arsenal.

Sometimes the December sump throws out something great after tormenting us for so long with hot garbage. From Which Nightmares Crawl is a come-from-nowhere tentacle slap that makes you reassess your life, your priorities, and your year-end lists. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what comes next for this upstart band. The sky may well be the limit. Enough puffery! Come join the Sacrilegion.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Chaos Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: December 9th, 2022

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