Sacrilege – ‘The Court of the Insane’
Pure Underground Records
Release Date: 02/08/2019
Running Time: 55:12
Review by Paul Monkhouse
It’s arguable that many of the bands that are known and loved in the rock world wouldn’t be here without the advent of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Those were heady days when this new breed of long-haired musicians seemed to pop up from virtually every town and city in the UK, filling the pubs and clubs with a sea of denim and leather scented with patchouli oil. The fact that so many of these bands are still around or have reformed shows that there is such a huge hunger for this much loved genre and that giants like Iron Maiden and Saxon are still packing out venues and playing with as much fire as anyone else on the scene. Not all were as successful as Maiden, but they still put their hearts and souls into it and Sacrilege are one such band. Originally formed in ’82 they enjoyed five good years together before going their separate ways only to reform again, twenty-five years later, in 2012 and have been constantly working since then. “The Court Of The Insane” is their new album and it pushes the clock back to those exhilarating days when the world sat up and listened and the weekly edition of music paper ‘Sounds’ was full of amazing tours and must-buy new albums.
‘Celestial City’ heralds the album with keys and that soon morphs into a guitar intro that captures the fire of the old days and races off with a song very Maiden-like in its scope. It must be said that vocalist/guitarist Bill Beadle doesn’t have the range of Bruce Dickinson but his singing fits perfectly with the band and adds real character to the Sacrilege sound. Second track, ‘Lies’ ups the ante on the drama and the band really take off for the title track of the album, the drums and bass of Neil Turnbull and Jeff Roland respectively being up in the mix, happily displaying the strength of a classic uncluttered three piece. It’s indeed a powerful number with a maelstrom of guitar and maniacal laughter at the end, showing the grasp of both narrative and musical punch.
‘Depression’ rips along like the best of Judas Priest and that theme is continued on ‘No Bequeath’ with its long instrumental passage and metallic edge. It’s not all balls out hard rocking as ‘The Prophet’ shows more light and shade, a much more melodic start giving way to an epic rampaging riff and some great fret burning by Beadle. The band seem to be very much aware of their heritage whilst pushing forward and broadening their ambitions on the album, a definite feeling of both old and new mixed in that will appeal to both the younger and older fans. Whilst the production and dramatic passages do seem at times very much harking back to the early 80’s, perhaps showing that there isn’t a multi-million-pound .budget behind them, this adds to the charm and authenticity of the album and is bound to bring a smile.
‘Unhinged Mind’ has much to enjoy about it and is another epic that sees the band let loose, not constrained by the need to just rush through tracks with indecent haste. ‘I Can Hear the Silence’ turns up the heat once more and is full of British Steel whilst album closer ‘Ride Free’ has lyrical and vocal flashes of The Who whilst having the gnarly heaviness that approaches Motörhead. A very fine way to finish and overall the album is a good reminder for those around at the birth of the NWOBHM and a pointer for a younger generation wanting to explore the thrill of something they missed at the time but is still very much worth supporting today.
01. Celestial City
03. The Court Of The Insane
04. Bring Out Your Dead
06. No Bequeath
07. The Prophet
08. Unhinged Mind
09. I Can Hear The Silence
10. Ride Free
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