Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sacrament - "Testimony of Apocalypse"

Sacrament - Testimony of Apocalypse
1990/2014, Retroactive

1. Testimony of Apocalypse
2. Slave to Sin
3. Hellfire Denied
4. Repentance
5. Valley of Dry Bones
6. Mortal Agony
7. Conquer Death
8. Absence of Fear
9. The Risen
10. Blood Bath

Back in the day my local mall had this little Christian bookstore called The Giving Tree. I was in there so much that the people got to know me. One day one of the women there said, "Here, you'll like this" and gave me Sacrament's debut. I think my teenage brain was sold on the cover art alone. I popped that demo in the tape player and I was just floored. It was stinking HEAVY! Probably heavier than anything I'd heard up until that point. Remember, Mortification hadn't really come out yet and Sacrament hovered on the boarder between thrash and death metal. When I bought the tape and took it home I remember having trouble following the lyrics because vocalist Mike Torone rapidly spat out the lyrics like a machine gun. I think the muddy production on this one actually serves to make the whole disc that much more brutal. While I'm not sure I count this as a "classic" per se, it is a quality metal record and well worth your time. It's also been rereleased so now's the time to get it.

This is completely off topic but wasn't it cool how Christian bookstores had demos? You could listen to just about everything they had. I remember taking fistfulls of demos to check out every so often. Granted, it's WAY easier to check out new music these days but still....*sigh* I miss the old days sometimes!

Useless Fact: Mike Torone's voice apparently only survived this one album. Though there's stories saying he was kicked out and stories saying he left because of his voice. Maybe someone out there can enlighten us....

1 comment:

  1. I remember having this, and digging it. And I totally agree that the slightly muddy production did actually enhance (rather than detract from) the music. I also remember this having a great drum mix and sound.

    Another thing I appreciated was that the songs didn't seem to drag on too long. I've long thought that the faster a song is, the shorter it should be. Too many bands just drag songs out beyond the limits of the band's musical abilities. I love long songs (when a band has the talent to pull them off), but a band (or their producer) has to be able and willing to stop before they ruin a good song.

    Alas, this is yet another of a handful of albums (CDs) that I wish I still had.

    For whatever reason, I don't recall ever hearing their second album.

    I'm not a huge fan of this kind music. But I do enjoy some of it (e.g., Sacrament - Testimony of Apocalypse, Vengeance - Human Sacrifice, any of the Believer albums, Tourniquet's more thrashnical stuff, etc).

    And yes, YES, YES!!!... It was very cool to listen to the demos at the local bookstore. For me, it was Sound Principle, in Smyrna, Georgia. Great owners, great employees. Ahhhh, meeeemmm'rieees...

    A customer once came into Sound P, complaining that a video she'd purchased (which featured a lot of the heavier acts around) wasn't Christian. When asked why she thought that. She said, "because it didn't minister to my spirit. If it were Christian, it would minister to my spirit." When told that perhaps it ministered to fans of that kind of music, the woman refused to even consider the possibility (and just kept reiterating her initial complaint). She then insisted that they stop selling the videos, or she would take her business elsewhere. To which the owner replied, "Well, I'm sorry you feel that way. But if you ever change your mind, I hope you'll come back and see us."

    It is easier to demo music, now, but it's far less personal -- and that's a drag. I loved interacting with the owners, employees, and customers at Sound P. In fact, I met one of my dearest friends when she worked at Sound P just as she was entering college. That was over twenty years ago, and we're still in constant touch. She, my wife, and I get together everytime we get the chance -- and I talk to her, on the phone, several times a week.