Friday, December 9, 2011

Reaping the Demos

A while back, I was dismayed when I pulled out my copy of the classic Behind the Realms of Madness LP to find that I no longer enjoyed it as much as I used to. Even “Life Line” failed to grab me and pull me into what was such a wonderful metal/punk journey for so long. I hate to say it, but I actually found Sacrilege to be anything but the heavy and powerful crust unit they had always been to me. In fact, I actually found them quite boring. Sad but true. I have not listened to Behind the Realms of Madness since, out of fear that perhaps it was not just my mood that day. It is alarming when your old favorite bands don’t deliver the goods anymore. Maybe you have been there.

In fact, I have noticed this same trend occurring with many of my old crusty punk favorites. Truthfully, I have noticed a distinct shift in my musical tastes over the past four years or so. I find myself less impressed with overly heavy or fast music. Instead, I look for those who play with power while remembering the value of a good tune. In my opinion, this is not exactly common amongst much of what passes for today’s hardcore/crust/grind/doom/whatever bands. Still, I held out hope that I could still tolerate the older bands that I had known and loved before my musical priorities changed. After all, that Sacrilege album was so great, especially at this time of the year!

Fortunately, whatever enthusiasm was lost for Behind the Realms of Madness was found here. Reaping the Demo(n)s compiles a handful of Sacrilege demos recorded between 1984 and 1986, plus a live set at a venue called Adam and Eve in Northern England. You may have heard some of these before—the Stark Reality 1985 demo has made its rounds in the past—but they probably never sounded as good as they do here. This is a legitimate reissue, so time was taken to resolve whatever issues with sound quality there may have been. Most of these demos were recorded in the years following Behind the Realms of Madness, but it is great to hear those songs with more of a crusty edge and less production. The big treat for me is the 1984 demo, in which Sacrilege sounds much more like a metal-tinged punk band in a Varukers vein. Considering my aforementioned taste shift, that was certainly to my liking. Perhaps you remember their previous band Warwound, who also played in a similar style.

It will probably be a while before I feel like I can break out Behind the Realms of Madness for another chance. At least I have the comfort of knowing that I haven’t completely given up on my beloved Sacrilege, thanks to these demos. Consider that a relief. If you never gave up on them in the first place, you’re probably going to love listening to this collection. Reap what you sow here for disc 1 and here for disc 2.

1 comment:

savethecirclepit said...

The guy over at Terminal Escape posted a pretty sweet live set also.