Released: 2000, Metal Blade
And now…black metal…from…the sunny shores of California!!! Hehe, all cuteness aside, Sanctus is a raging black metal force that does hail from the state of L.A. and earthquakes. Yes folks, there are other places than Scandinavia that can produce evil forest music. The question is, is it any good? Well, if you’ve read this far, then you’ve probably scanned the score that I have this album, so that question is already answered for you. The End.
Oh wait, I guess I should give some sort of constructive criticism right? O.K. then. Sanctus plays a hyper form of black metal that falls somewhere between De Mysteriis Dom Satanas and IX Equilibrium. Actually, this musical beast is pretty far removed from the primal heathen that was De Mysteriis, but the influence is there. So, with Sanctus you basically know what is going to come out of your speakers when you press the “Play” button. Fast, chainsaw guitars, a trebly mix, ethereal keyboards, and some fast, fast shit. That’s a pretty fair description of the first two songs on Aeon Sky, “Empyreal” and “If We Fall…”. However, once the trilogy of “Odyssey” springs forth, you realize that no, Sanctus is something different. Indeed, “Odyssey” is the best song on Aeon Sky and easily one of the best blackened songs ever. I spoke with vocalist Jason McCrarey and he told me that keyboardist Adrian Ross wrote most of that song. Well, Adrian, start writing more ‘cause “Odyssey” is brilliant! What starts as a typical black metal-styled keyboard eerie thingy quickly changes into a oddly-paced jazz/swing/blues riff that coasts along while still easily within the black metal form. Simply amazing, and it must be heard.
Epic. Did I mention that Sanctus’ music is epic? With a mere eight songs clocking in at 51:26, you know that each song is going to be a workout of huge proportions. “November” is the longest (and arguably best) song, but in a more straight attack vein than “Odyssey”. “Thought I Saw Your Wings” continues the experimentation started on “Odyssey”, but does not carry through to the same extent. Ah well, who cares, this whole album is fantastic and deserves attention. However, if you don’t like a whole lot of keyboards in your black metal, you should probably look elsewhere, as Sanctus aren’t afraid to compliment their guitar attack with synths. A true eye-opener. Look for a new release in early 2001. Contact: http://sanctus.cjb.net