Sacramentum
Far Away from the Sun


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
August 24th, 2008 | 146 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Think of it like Dissection, but without the murder, racism and other bullshit associated with Jon Nodtveidt.

Every couple of days or so when I sign on to Sputnikmusic I notice a list with the name “Music I Found Through Sputnik” or something similar to that. After the last appearance of one of these aptly titled lists it got me thinking; what music that I currently enjoy do I owe to this wondrous website that has begun to consume me? The first thing that came to mind was Norway's largest cultural export: Black Metal. Everyone knows the classic bands of the genre Ulver, Emperor, Dissection, Burzum and the like, but there are a many a good Black Metal band that can hold their own with the genre's giants but are looked over. Sacramentum is one of those bands.

Sacramentum's first EP, 1995's Finis Malorum rode heavy on Dissection's coattails with its mixture of Black Metal's atmosphere and speed with the technicality and arrangement normally found in Death Metal. Their next release, Far Away From the Sun, expounded on the ideas first touched upon in their EP and refined them into a work of Black Metal that almost rivals Dissection's Storm of the Light's Bane.

The first thing that catches your attention while listening to Far Away From the Sun is drummer Niklas Rudolfsson. His breakneck drumming is the focal point of all the songs from the get go. His frenetic yet inventive style melds perfectly into the spiderweb-like arrangements. The drums also have the benefit of being the loudest instrument in the mix which further puts them at the forefront of the music.

As with most Black Metal bands of the era, a large portion of the guitar work consists of heavily distorted, tremolo picked guitars. In theory Sacramentum are doing nothing different from their peers, but in practice that just isn't so. The speed and precision of the guitarists along with their knack for harmonic structures conveys more than the desolate mood that is reflected by most bands of the era, it creates the forceful state of anger and discourse that makes Far Away From the Sun unique.

Even though Far Away From the Sun is a shining example of the genre, its the little things that drag it down. Dan Swano's production, though standard for the time, is more devoid of bass than usual. With the bass turned all the way up on my stereo it was still hard to hear, which is a shame because (from what little I could make out) it seems rather well done and lives up to the technicality found on the rest of the album. Also, vocalist Nils Karlen's penchant for clean vocals distracts from the music. The key example of this is the outro track where the lack of melody and tune in his voice clashes with the music beneath it. Even though they are used sparingly elsewhere they have the same effect and just aren't needed.

Sacramentum's Far Away From the Sun is clearly their best effort yet sadly it marked their last album with any notable Black Metal influence. With their later releases they began to fall in line with the rest of their Gothenburg brethren and released a series of Melodic Death Metal albums of questionable quality before disbanding in 1999. So fellow fans of Black Metal, do your self a favor and listen to Far Away From the Sun if you haven't yet. Just think of it like Dissection, but without the murder, racism and other bull*** associated with Jon Nodtveidt.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
fireaboveicebelow
August 24th 2008


6837 Comments


really good review, and summary

I want this now

BallsToTheWall
August 24th 2008


44593 Comments


Good review, album rules although I never had any beef with Jon to begin with, or even Bard for that matter. Have you heard Vinterland yet? If you havent, check them out along with 'The Black", the final recordings from.Jon Nodtveidt.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Hawks
August 24th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really good review man. This album sound great.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


17222 Comments


I haven't heard The Black yet but Vinterland is amazing.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


16433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This sounds right up my alley, I'll get this ASAP. Good work.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Hawks
August 24th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Getting this right now.

Wizard
August 24th 2008


19491 Comments


Think of it like Dissection, but without the murder, racism and other bullshit associated with Jon Nodtveidt.

So what your telling me from the summary is that these guys sound exactly the same as Dissection but without the bullshit associated with it? That doesn't sound too appealing. But your review makes up for this though and I will give you a vote. Sorry, I'm just nitpicking.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Hawks
August 24th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I'm listening right now and they do sound a whole lot like Dissection. Not that its a bad thing.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


17222 Comments


Wizard, i get what you mean but you can the band was so heavily influenced by Dissection that its really unavoidable

SCREAM!
August 24th 2008


10204 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love Dissection so i pretty much owe it to myself to check it out.

Havent been able to find that The Black album balls. Whered you find it?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


17222 Comments


yeah balls, where did you find that?

SCREAM!
August 24th 2008


10204 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is very good but not quite up to the level of Storm of the Lights Bane or even The Somberlain.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


16433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah balls, where did you find that?


If you're talking about Alongside Death by The Black, I don't know where he found it but I know that I had to directly contact Daniel Bragman of Vinterland to acquire a copy of the LP. He runs the label which released it, limited to 666 copies. I'm expecting it in the mail within a few weeks, if it's even released yet.This Message Edited On 08.24.08

BallsToTheWall
August 24th 2008


44593 Comments


Yeah, I never bothered to look for it, I was just judging from myspace tracks which were pretty badass and wanted to share it to the community after it's been on my chest for some time now. Nowthat I know it's a mother fucker to find, i'll have to consider pulling a Crysis here, although no credit card........This Message Edited On 08.24.08

Hawks
August 24th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is very good but not quite up to the level of Storm of the Lights Bane or even The Somberlain.

This is exactly what I though after listening to this SCREAM.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


16433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ya this is decent, like a 3 or 3.5 at best.

Hawks
August 24th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Its in between 3.5 and 4 for me. I decided to go with 4 though.

Yazz_Flute
April 26th 2009


18802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Decided to up this to a 4.5. I prefer SOTLB but this is pretty close in terms of quality, it's just less memorable.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Hyperbore
April 26th 2009


856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is so much better than anything Dissection's ever made that it's not even comparable.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 26th 2009


17222 Comments


hyperbore ftw.



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