Sacriphyx is a band out of Australia playing their own style of death/thrash/black metal, focusing conceptually on the ins and outs of war. Nothing new, right? Wrong. This is not an album that screams for the fight, that glorifies the horrors of war. In fact, this album seems to do quite the opposite. While its approach to the topic is not political, it tells a different story of the battlefield- one of meaningless death, one of sublime sadness, and one of great despair.
It does not completely abandon death metal tradition, but it adds an element that is rarely heard in most interpretations to the genre. While it is chock full of thick, chunky, and yes - catchy riffs, it weaves in some of the most melancholic guitar solos that I've ever heard, making these songs quite bluesy. The songs can be quite fast and very heavy at times, but these guys know when to dial it back, and in fact sound quite doom-ish at times. And the solos that piggyback those sections of slower riffage and melody, and that are woven into the fabric of this music - oh man, those solos! Truly gut-wrenching, intense, and instantly memorable. This is an album that will stay with you for days at a time. There's really no way to shake it. And considering how good it is, no reason, either.
I can't think of another band that's doing anything remotely close to this right now, which makes it even easier to appreciate the niche that Sacriphyx have carved out for themselves. And despite that "niche," there's no reason to suggest that Sacriphyx will rest there, and just about every reason to believe that they will continue to evolve as one of the best bands in metal today. Take a listen for yourself here.
The Western Front was released in February by Nuclear War Now in CD, LP, and die-hard LP editions. The die-hard is somehow still in stock, and if you know anything at all about NWN die-hards, you'll guess correctly that it is pretty damn stellar. NWN also has a bunch of other Sacriphyx releases, and it is suggested that you get any and all of them now. Make your purchases here.