You just gotta love re-issues of old, hard to find metal classics.
I've owned a cassette tape of Sacrament's Testimony of Apocalypse for years. I've tried getting the CD on Ebay,
but I never won any of the auctions. Well, my bad luck has paid off...so to speak. Retroactive Records has re-released
this fantastic thrash album and has also included their mega-rare, 7 song Presumed Dead demo on the end
as bonus tracks.
Musically, this album is super aggressive and filled with tons of killer thrash metal.
The band borderlines on death metal at times, but stays in the thrash realm for the most part. Mike Torone's vocals
are totally awesome. Many of Sacrament's fans were sad to see him leave after Testimony of Apocalypse.
According to Retroactive, it was because of the damage to his vocal chords from singing so crazy. They also incorporated
a bunch of gang vocals on some of the songs like "Valley of Dry Bones" and "The Risen". I usually don't care for the
overuse of gang vocals, but somehow, Sacrament made them sound cool.
It's hard to pick a best song. I'd have to go with "Absence of Fear". But all of
the songs on the album are very strong. As far as the demo goes, again, it's all good material. However,
there is the downside of the drop in production quality. It's not too bad though. As far as
the band's sound on the demo, they sound very similar to their sound on Testimony..., but Torone's vocals have more
of a grunt thrash feel to them. Still very similar, but slightly different. They also seem to incorporate some
Vengeance Rising (Destruction Comes-era) and Crucified influences on the demo. On the title track for the demo,
the intro sounds almost identical to the intro on "Carry Your Corpse" off of their Haunts of Violence release.
However, it eventually carries off in a different direction, with some Crucified styled vocal delivery.
The booklet includes the album covers for both albums (one on each side) and the lyrics
for the Testimony of Apocalypse album. Overall, a great album to have re-released. Long time Sacrament
fans will want to pick this up to hear the old demo and thrash fans that have never been exposed to Sacrament should pick it
up just to hear one of the greats from the past. (Review by Matt)