It would be easy to lump Sanctium in with Be’lakor; they are Australian, play a form of progressive melancholic  Opeth and Insomnium styled melodic death metal and they really good at it. However, this band actually has ties to some other Aussie bands, like Switchblade, Bane of Isildur and most notably, impressive  doomsters Myraeth, who I covered late last year.

Regardless, the end result is pretty Be’lakor-like in its end quality, (especially being self released like Be’lakor‘s debut) while being a few shades different. While certainly rooted in Scandinavian death/doom and with a somber undertone, Sanctium manages to keep things a little more aggressive and remind me of Finnish band Before the Dawn and their last, excellent  effort Rise of The Phoenix.  There are no clean vocals or sugary choruses, just crunchy,  layered melodic  death metal with gruff vocals, a hint of sadness and a few touches of atmospheric experimentation.

The album’s 42 minute run time is executed perfectly in both production and song writing. The songs (and 2 interludes) are rangy and developed ranging from 5 to 10 minutes, and there are plenty of light and dark hues clashing effortlessly to produce an incredibly professional and top notch release of a pretty European dominated style. Even with some familiar riffs and structures, the strains of Opeth are not quite as heavy handed as say, The Advent Equation, due to the  lack of extended  proggy  breaks or clean vocals, but the Insomnium throes are pretty up front- but they do it so well it never comes across as  mere mimicry.

Even though every track is a damn fine number, standouts include the varied mood and pace of personal favorite  “A Vile Mind”, with its very nice selection of riffs both moody and fierce, the energetic  Gothenberg jaunt of “No Raison D’ Etre” and the 10 minute closer “Enslaved”. The latter of which delivers the albums most Opeth-y moments, and not just due to the song’s length as a little clean bridge and solo surfaces about a third of the way into the song, but it morphs deftly into a very cool rumbling death metal climax.

Yet another impressive Australian band not playing bestial war metal or black thrash metal, and definitely an excellent band to keep an eye on and reach the same heights as their country mates Be’lakor.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 12th, 2013


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I’m sold, will check this out today

  2. Commented by: stiffy

    Sounds like my kind of thing.

  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I like this, it’s speedier and more aggressive than B’elakor. Great sound too. That ambient nonsense on track 2 is a pace-killer though, wtf.

  4. Commented by: Luke_22

    This sounds good.

  5. Commented by: gordeth

    I hear some Eucharist in their sound. Good stuff and good write up.

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