Polish band SACRILEGIUM has a special place in my collection and in my soul. At one time their great masterpiece "Wicher" changed my life, I'm not exaggerating at all. CD edition of this album was the most expensive of my purchases, and I bought it through Discogs the devil knows where, almost on the fucking Fiji islands or something. It was 2013 or 2014, and I then tried my best to track down the musicians' contacts to re-release the album on Possession Prods. Never happened. I asked Odium Records boss, BLACK ALTAR musician, nicknamed Shadow, because he published the "Embrace the Darkness" compilation containing demos of SACRILEGIUM in 2006. Shadow disappointed me, saying that he had lost contact with the band, but immediately made me happy by saying that Pagan Records plans to release not only the re-release of "Wicher", but also a new album! The rest is history. Since 2015, SACRILEGIUM are again active - creating new records, playing concerts, preparing a new album. However, not so long ago the line-up of the band seriously changed - the bassist C left, as well as Nantur Aldaron, one of the founders of the band, and its seemingly unchanged vocalist. However, the gap in the ranks of SACRILEGIUM immediately filled two former members of the little-known band BEHEADED. But now the only musician from original line-up is guitarist / vocalist SUCLAGUS. We talked with him, although the answers, unfortunately, turned out to be less detailed than I had hoped.
Hello Suclagus! I am a long-time fan of SACRILEGIUM, and right now I work as a translator for a friendly label Metal Star that releases Dayal Patterson's “Cult” books for Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. There is chapter about Sacrilegium in his 4th book, it's a big interview of Nantur, so I know a bit about the history of the band. But I'd like to hear your point of view on some questions, so I'll start from the trivial stuff. Nantur said that you were a great guitarist when you started Sacrilegium. How and when did you became a guitar player?
Suclagus: Hi! So, When I been young man I attended a music school, but on the guitar I learned to play himself a few years later, it was 1988/89 I don't remember well, but Heavy and Death metal of the 80s had a huge impact on to becoming a guitarist.
Suclagus – what is the meaning of this pseudonym?
S: Undoubtedly, my rebellious nature of those years was significantly for this pseudonym, which has a significant connection with the fire.
What bands were your favorite when you started Sacrilegium?
S: So, It is difficult to list them all, and I would not like to favor a noone. A lot of them I listening to today too.
“Sleeptime” is more or less Satanic-themed demo, but it seems that soon your ideology changed for a bit. You allied with North to record “Jesienne szepty” split where you contributed your legendary song “Tam gdzie gaśnie dzień...”. It was a song in Polish language, and the cover of this split was adorned by large Dąb i Orzeł coat of arms. The history of Dąb i Orzeł is very interesting to me, can you tell me more about this movement? How did you joined it? What purposes this movement had?
S: From what I remember, this emblem was created as a sign of the bands, identified with paganism and the ancient beliefs of the Slavs. By recording "Wicher" we paid tribute to this time, so, that symbol appeared with our name. Under this emblem played also couple of Polish bands, the creator of this emblem was Sirkis from North and play under him to this day too.
In 1996 you released “Wicher”, one of the greatest metal albums ever in my opinion. It is pagan by its nature, but it has also some satanic stuff in lyrics. I would say that your worldview at this period was like some kind of “satanic paganism” where Satan was identified with powers of nature or the ancient gods, am I right?
S: Exactly, I never thought about it, but you are right, the doctrines that we explored in those days gave us different opportunities ... And it was hard to get rid of satanic views.
“Wicher” also has very archaic atmosphere. It feels almost primordial, like if this music comes from prehistorical times when gods had no names yet, and people communicated with nature directly. You have created such atmosphere purposely?
S: When came idea of creating such material, I was probably in the best stage of musical development, When was a little inspirations, like the subject of the ancient Slavs, ideas came very fast and alone without any problems. Today probably the material would sound a little different. But I leave this criticism to the critics, responding to your question ... Yes, this atmosphere was created deliberately to give more devotion to the worship of our ancestors.
Funny fact: many people today listen to this album because of their inattentiveness, they see “Wicher” as “Witcher”, which refers to legendary series of books written by Andrzej Sapkowski and of course to the game series created by CD Projekt Red. I've seen that many times. Have you encountered with such misunderstanding? Do you like Sapkowski's books, by the way?
S: You are the first person to say that people are listening to our album "Wicher" because they see a similarity to the Witcher, maybe it is true ... I don't know... As for Sapkowski and his work, with respect, but I'm not his fan.
It seems that after “Wicher” you returned to satanic worldview, why is that? What is the band's wordlview today?
S: The Sacrilegium as a crime that harms directly or indirectly in holiness, is an inspiration to identify with this and I see no other way for the rest of the team.
What do you feel about your old releases today?
S: Willingly would like to record all songs again :) Old releases I think former good or very good... such times were.
The old albums from Poland have this special unique sound – very atmospheric and archaic by nature, it sounds not like Norwegian or anyone else's. North, Grom, Marhoth, Sacrilegium, Hefeystos demo, Graveland, Behemoth, Łza Zeschniętej Róży, My Infinite Kingdom, Neasit... It's hard to describe, but all these old works have absolutely unique feeling, and it's not about the music only. “Wicher” is maybe the best example. Did you noticed that? Maybe there's something specific about all these old records – like some kind of studio where everyone was recording, or anything else?
S: I do not want to put all the bands together in a single sack, but it was the fact, that most bands were recording music in same studio, or in studio with a similar profile, everything was always related to the money, the budgets for recording were so low that nothing else was able to squeeze, it was very hard to get a sound that would satisfy us today ...
I've also noticed that many of these old bands had this subtle gothic vibe in their music. I mean this specific style of riffing and acoustic fragments or melodic constructions that reminds me about some old post-punk / goth rock bands. Also this change of image, when many bands abandoned corpsepaint and spikes and dressed into coats. I think each old band from Poland has a few photos when they stand somewhere in the woods at winter dressed in coats, haha. Is that a coincidence or you really listened to the goth scene? Your stuff in Hefeystos was definitely gothic.
S: Maybe it was, but I did’t care what other bands do ... The Gothic scene was well known to me, but in no way did it change me. As for Hefeystos ... I was not the creator of this band, I played there for a drums and keys. whether was it gothic? ... I think, this project was supposed to be more Slavonic than others...
About Hefeystos: Nantur, Horm and you left this project after the first album, why is that happened? Then this awful “Psycho Cafe” was released – I believe it was totally written by other people?
S: I remember.. that I was too weak .. or something like that ... hahaha ... well, the drummer, I didn't stay. Other later persons from the band I don't remember, maybe it was like you say.
Your page on Metal Archives meets the visitor with story about canceled tour with Darkthrone. It was you who broke his arm? Where this tour was supposed to take place?
S: It was mentioned that we were going to play with them and we were in touch :) but none of us got an official offer to play the concert. Maybe it was a topic for discussion between some organizers after the release of "sleeptime"... i don't know... The carrier broke Nantur, which was the reason for leaving the route with Behemoth and Helheim.
Back in 90's you have a conflict with The Temple of Fullmoon. Why they included you to their list of “enemies of Black Metal?” I know that many “enemies” are now reconciled with ex-Temple members, like Darken with Nergal and so on. There are no hard feelings between you and those people today?
S: I do not recall such situations directly related to Sacrilegium
A few years ago your early stuff was re-released. Pagan Records took “Wicher”, but “Sleeptime” demo was re-released by Witching Hour. Why you decided to work with WH on that?
S: And why not, I didn't know the details of the agreement, but when it came down to it, it had to be used.
Can you explain the choice of the covers for both re-releases? They look really strange, I don't see the connection between them and the albums. Can you enlighten me on that?
S: It's Your opinion, in my opinion, is the most appropriate choice.
“Recidivus” tape from 1998: why it is still not re-released?
S: Poor recording quality does not allow me to do so.
On the other hand, your promo tape “Embrace the Darkness” was re-released twice – first time as a part of same named compilation, and then as 12'' LP. It was the label's idea to release it as LP?
S: That was the intention.
Whose idea it was to resurrect the band? How much time it took?
S: My, It took awhile, about two years.
Please tell me about the new members of Sacrilegium. How did you met them?
S: Everybody except a new guitarist once created Sacrilegium, that's why they are.
How did you get the idea to add all these remixes to “Angelus” single? I bet that old fans were shocked; I wasn't, but it was unexpected definitely. Do you think this idea was good?
S: It was arranged by Nantur, was it a good idea? I think so, but it's was a little abstract. We realized that not everyone would take it, but we see how other performers relate to our music, very interesting experience.
Nantur said that in the beginning of 2000's you didn't recorded the album that later became “Anima Lucifera” because of the disagreements about how it should sound. But you've finally recorded this album – does that meant that you've find a compromise? Or someone was forced to give in?
S: You have induced me to read this interview with Nantur ... I do not want to comment on everything, but the main reason for not recording this album in 2000 was the suspension of Sacrilegium and not the lack of compromise about the sound - stagnation, lack of record contracts and the only one propsal of contract that was not signed was was the only reason.
What is this album about? Does it have some conception?
S: For me, this is the best Sacrilegium album, despite the passing of time. He probably would have changed Sacrilegium in the polish scene up in those years, but we had no chance to register him.
Why Nantur quit the band? He seemed not really enthusiastic about continuation of Sacrilegium in Patterson's book...
S: Nantur left the team ... I will not comment on it
Your image changed when you recorded “Anima Lucifera” – all these neckties, strict shirts and so on... as I understand, it was connected to this one album, because now your image changed again to something more simple and old-school. Or it was Nantur's idea that you abandoned after his departure?
S: To a large extent, when designing a project for this album, we had more collaborators than usual, maybe it should be with every our projects and will be more elaborate, but not every time, we will get freebies. In the case of Ritual I did everything myself and I do not intend to explain why so ...
Do you still listen to young metal bands?
S: Some times
Have you listened to Drudkh? They have done much to promote you actually, it's because of them I've listened to Sacrilegium for the first time (thanks to “Tam gdzie gaśnie dzień...” cover released in 2010).
S: It was the best cover I've ever heard. I know they have a couple of songs from recidivus, but that's all. Good band, I wish them success
The new EP “Ritual” has a song from the future album + 2 re-recorded old songs from “Sleeptime”. Why you decided to re-record these 2 songs? Maybe they will be presented on the new album?
S: No, after the last concert Sinister Howling V on which we had an opportunity to show Sacrilegium , the plan was simple, to record something quickly before the next release. The decision to record Empty side of soul and Silence was spontaneous.
“Ritual” EP sounds surprisingly old-school. It was recorded at the same studio as “Anima Lucifera”, but it sounds more natural in my ears. You can add echo effect, and it will sound almost like if it was recorded in 90's. Will the new album have this type of sound? Also the new song is more similar to your early works than “Anima Lucifera” tracks, though they were composed many years ago.
S: Ritual song is a completely new composition, as I said, everything was done on its own, also mix and master, maybe that's the result, but is it worse? Anima is a chapter already closed, certainly when creating another material, we will use another producer, I do not know ... it"s future
When the new album will be released? Maybe you can share some information about it already – the title, the label, the main theme and so on? What are your plans for the nearest future?
S: The album will be released in 2018, at the moment we focus on the tour with Furia. Ritual has indicated in some of way that we will follow, time will verify whether it will be a good choice.
Thank you for your time! It was an honor to do this interview. Here you can tell anything you want to Bagnik Zine readers.
S: Toast for all our fans, Thanks for the support.