October 22, 2017

Sacrocurse - Gnostic Holocaust - Album Review + Track Stream.

Sacrocurse - Gnostic Holocaust.

Review by Trevor Proctor.

With three members originally based between Mexico and Turkey Sacrocurse first reared its demonic head during December 2012 and brought us their first release in July 2013 in the form of the excellent four track ‘Sulphur Blessing’ demo which was released on cassette and digital formats by Iron Bonehead Productions. The release helped generate a fan base for the band and the tracks featured were re-released on a split CD entitled A.D.S.B which Sacrocurse shared with Trajeto de Cabra.
The CD was released by Morbid Metal Records in November 2013 and coupled the Sacrocurse demo with Trajeto de Cabra’s ‘Antichrist Dominum’ demo which had also initially been released by Iron Bonehead Productions.
Almost a year after the release of ‘Sulphur BlessingSacrocurse unleashed their debut album, ‘Unholier Master,’ and by this stage the band had become a two piece based in Monterrey, Mexico with founding guitarist ZK assuming vocal duties along with new drummer, LZ. 
The Sacrocurse logo was designed by the underground legend that is MORKH (Nether Temple Design, Sickrites, Serpentrance, Vhorthax) who also contributed lyrics for the ‘Unholier Master’ album. 
The promise shown by Sacrocurse was strong enough for the album to be released by two of the underground’s most reputable labels, Hells Headbangers and Iron Bonehead Productions who both released different vinyl versions of ‘Unholier Master’ in the U.S. and Europe respectively with Hells Headbangers also releasing a CD version which was available in both Europe and the U.S. 

Unfortunately it would be sixteen months until we heard new music from Sacrocurse but the band certainly wasn’t wasting time, using it to steadily build a fierce reputation in underground circles with their potent and blasphemous Black/Death Metal coupled with several live shows with the likes of Nile, Deicide, Negura Bunget, Deiphago, and Morbosidad being just a few of the world class bands Sacrocurse shared a billing with. On top of this Sacrocurse performed at Hell’s Headbash 2 and also completed a six date mini U.S. tour with Force of Darkness and Hades Archer
Another high profile performance for Sacrocurse occurred during Destroying Texas Fest 11 when the band was joined on stage by none other than the legendary Mike Browning from Nocturnus AD, as pictured below. During this sixteen month period Sacrocurse also enlisted a new band member in the form of bass player SW and began writing ‘Destroying Chapels’ which was released by Iron Bonehead Productions in January 2016. The 7” EP featured four lethal tracks including a cover of Bathory’s ‘Total Destruction’ and was given a 10/10 rating in my review here at The Lair of Filth and also secured fourth place in my Top 25 Singles/EPs/Demos listing for 2016.

Despite being such an exceptional release the ‘Destroying Chapels’ EP was the last new music we heard from Sacrocurse but thankfully the wait of over twenty one months is now finally over as the band has just released their highly anticipated second album, ‘Gnostic Holocaust,’ on LP and digital formats via Iron Bonehead Productions

Gnostic Holocaust features ten tracks across thirty minutes and with opening track ‘Just Fucking Die’ the album gets off to a very positive start as Sacrocurse dispense with a quick intro to hit you directly in the face with their Black/Death attack. Sacrocurse’s music is quite a straight forward style of Death Metal with lashings of  blackened blasphemy but this is exactly what you want from a band like this – no hype, no gimmicks, and definitely no bullshit, just strong no-nonsense blasphemy-fueled Death Metal. Vocalist and guitarist ZK sounds as possessed as ever and as usual throws some frantic solos into the mix but this album is most definitely a joint effort from all members. 

Whilst this is the debut album from this line-up it doesn’t show in the slightest as their spate of live shows together has paid very obvious dividends - there’s a level of confidence to Sacrocurse’s music with moments of balls-out swagger to be heard during the likes of ‘Jaws of Hell’ and ‘Kirie Eleison.’ Their music was succinctly summed up by the press release which stated, “Sacrocurse take all their original rudiments - bestial propulsion, immediately memorable songwriting, and mind-melted solos - and adds even more insanity and ritualism, more red-eyed and rabid than ever.” 

Despite averaging three minutes each Sacrocurse switch tempo many times during most tracks, ranging from mid to high paced Death Metal to keep things varied while also ensuring you’re paying attention. With 'Maze of Serpents' available to stream above there’s no need for over description of their music as with Sacrocurse it’s a case of you see what you get and what you get here is an exemplary Death Metal album. 
To date I feel Sacrocurse hasn’t yet achieved the recognition or following in Europe warranted by the standard of their music but I am hopeful this album will help address this imbalance as Gnostic Holocaust is more than capable of earning them a legion of new fans – no matter what side of the Atlantic they’re from. 
Sacrocurse continues to play shows on a very regular basis and recently performed a number with the mighty Slaughtbbath as well as a support slot with Inquisition and UADA in Texas. Not only is Sacrocurse one of the most important bands in the underground ZK is also one of the most influential individuals - he is an integral part of the U.S. underground and has helped Destroying Texas Fest  become one of the most recognized and respected underground festivals worldwide. 
Sacrocurse are one of the hardest working bands out there and long may their ascendancy continue as it’s fully deserved - if you haven't yet discovered Sacrocurse now is the time.

An essential release from a band centric to the underground. 9/10.

01 - Just Fucking Die
02 - Jaws of Hell
03 - Spirit versus Flesh
04 - Endless Khaoz
05 - Kirie Eleison
06 - Maze of Serpents
07 - Empire of Sekmet
08 - Triumphant Tribulation
09 - Gnostic Holocaust
10 - Vengeance Consumed.

'Gnostic Holocaust' by Sacrocurse is now available on LP by following this link and also available on digital formats here.

Previous Sacrocurse releases are available here from Iron Bonehead Productions.

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