Sacrilege were formed in the UK way back in 1982 by the brains of the outfit, vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Bill Beadle. Always on the verge of something big, things never quite reached the heady heights they hoped for. After a couple of demo recordings, Beadle became disillusioned with the industry and gave up playing for a whopping 25 years.
In 2007 Beadle decided to resurrect Sacrilege and re-record early tracks plus writing and recording new music.
Now, six albums later, the band is stronger than ever and the imminent release of The Court of the Insane shows them on top form. Beadle is joined by Jeff Rolland on bass and Neil Turnbull on drums, both of whom joined in 2013. The most recent inclusion is former Salem lead guitarist Paul Macnamara, who joined the band this year (although too late to appear on this album).
As Sacrilege were formed in 1982 you have probably guessed by now that they are heavily influenced by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Having said that, they do have a doomier side with Beadle’s vocals not dissimilar to those of Dave Hill of Demon, inhabiting the lower end of the scale.
The Court of the Insane is the band’s third outing for Pure Steel Records, having signed with the German label in 2015.
A quick flick through some of the song titles is enough for you to get a feel for the album. “The Court of the Insane”, “Bring Out Your Dead”, “Depression”, “Unhinged Mind” and “I Can Hear the Silence” are all handy hints as to what to expect.
From the moment The Court of the Insane kicks off with doom-laden keyboards and a chugging dark riff on “Celestial City” you get drawn into the atmosphere which pervades the whole album. It’s dark but not depressing and is full of excellent musicianship.
The riffing is mesmeric, solos exquisite and Beadle’s vocals are perfectly suited to their style, however, the hero of the hour is drummer Neil Turnbull. He’s no simple beat merchant, he brings style, substance and interest to every song and his fills are a joy to behold.
Overall, The Court of the Insane is a superb album. It is hard, heavy, intense and a real joy. Get your cash out.