Year of release: 2019
Released by: Werewolf Promotion
Rating: 7,3 / 10
Though SACRILEGIUM is one of the most important bands in my life, I've never expected too much from their new album. Quite boring interview with Suclagus arose suspicion that, although it was he who was the driving force of SACRILEGIUM, Nantur’s energy played a much more important role than might be expected. If Nantur’s interest in the band was directly related to spiritual research, for Suclagus’, it seems that the revival of SACRILEGIUM was primarily a way to play metal again for the sake of it. Unfortunately, genuine art, especially Black Art, is not born in such conditions. There will always be something important missing - as the “Ritus Transitorius” proves.
Let's go from good to bad. Suclagus is a great composer, no doubt about it. In each song there is at least one fragment falling into memory. And the best things on the album remain with you entirely. “Królestwo cienia", for example; it’s like SACRILEGIUM of the golden period, with a characteristic melody, riffs cleverly passing the baton on the run, genuine emotions. The song “Ritual” is good, although I liked the version from the self-titled EP more. “Zapomniana potęga” - everything is clear here, this is a re-recorded thing from “Recidivus” demo. Interestingly, it goes both to the benefit and to the detriment of an album. Thanks to it, the disc becomes one good song more. At the same time, it is clear from it that in the 90s SACRILEGIUM compositional thinking was better developed: “Zapomniana potęga” is stronger than the rest of the material even from purely musical side. The original, however, haven't been be surpassed or vulgarized. Finally, in “Ritus Transitorius” I am pleased with the presence of synthesizer parts. And even if they no longer play such an important role as before, without them, SACRILEGIUM would have lost a solid part of their identity.
In general, I described the main problem of the album in the preface. After the interview, I got the feeling that Suclagus suffers from a disease characteristic of many old musicians - he is most concerned about the sound quality of the songs. And this is far from the main thing, especially in Black Metal. People still listen to “Wicher” and other classic SACRILEGIUM recordings not for the sake of a good sound (that is not there) and not even for the truly excellent riffs. Their priceless dignity is the ability to carry the listener into the darkness of antiquity saturated with magic. Even the most hard-witted mutt will notice this energy which is characteristic of both the pagan and the satanic period of the Poles. “Anima Lucifera” was fundamentally different, but had something to offer in return: Luciferian, forgive me for this evident remark, light. The second album had an occult aura, inspired by the philosophy of eccentric dudes, spending days and nights in their vast libraries full of rare tomes. “Ritus Transitorius”, alas, lacks a spiritual dimension. Poetic quotes on the digipack insides and album title suggest that SACRILEGIUM's new work is also based on occultism, but I don’t feel it in music. There are these quality sounding songs, nothing else. Also, sound quality does not mean the quality of music. Years ago, a goofy thing like “Stupor,” for example, would hardly even have been included in a posthumous collection of unreleased records. Under the crumbly instrumental layers, hides the trembling body of the most lazy idea which for some reason they decided to turn into a full song. Only a decent ending with an interesting guitar solo somehow helps out. Fortunately, the rest of the songs are stitched more tightly, although the final track also makes you tormented by vague doubts.
It’s a little regrettable to understand: with less refined sounding all these songs could have work well. Compare the album version of “Ritual” with the version from the self-titled EP recorded on North studio. For some reason you believe in a more primitive initial version, but not in a perfect album one. As I said, quality is not the main thing. Sometimes the pursuit of it can only do harm.
Finally, the physical edition of the album also leaves few reasons for joy. There was no room for lyrics in the 8-panel digipack, but occupying two panels with a tracklist and a list of participants consisting of four people was of course the best option. The photos of the musicians are good, the fonts are total disaster, the color scheme, in general, too. In the open state, digipack looks more like the release of some lousy Russian label rather than Werewolf Promotion. At least when it's closed, it's looking good. Details on a video. I regret to say that “Ritus Transitorius” does not honor SACRILEGIUM. It is not bad, but one-dimensional, and therefore its life cycle will come to an end much faster than with previous works.