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Sanctify the Darkness

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Album Review

There was 1950s nostalgia in the '70s, '60s nostalgia in the '80s, and '70s nostalgia in the '90s. So is it any surprise that '80s nostalgia came about in the 21st century? For headbangers, part of that '80s nostalgia has been the thrash metal revival movement. Plenty of retro-thrash bands came out of different parts of Europe in the 2000s, including Greece's Suicidal Angels — and if anyone doubts their commitment to '80s worship, he/she need only listen to Sanctify the Darkness. This is a 2009 recording that parties like it's 1985. The production style isn't an ‘'80s-like production — Suicidal Angels show their awareness of 2009's production techniques — but stylistically, lightning-fast tunes such as "Beyond the Laws of Church," "Inquisition," "The Pestilence of Saints," and "Bloodthirsty" sound like they could have been written 25 years earlier. Sanctify the Darkness is an unapologetic throwback to a time when Slayer, Kreator, Napalm Death, and Testament were showing us what could happen when metal was combined with the velocity of punk. Lyrically, no one will mistake Suicidal Angels for a Christian metal band; these Greeks spend a lot of time addressing the darker side of Christianity's history. And if their views on organized religion remind moshers of Slayer during the Hell Awaits/Reign in Blood/South of Heaven period, that is no coincidence; Slayer has influenced Suicidal Angels' lyrics as well as their pummeling riffs. Some of the European retro-thrash bands that debuted in the 2000s have favored big doses of irony, especially the bands that identify with the comic tendencies of grindcore. But there is nothing ironic about Sanctify the Darkness; these guys take their ''80s worship seriously. And while this 38-minute CD is totally derivative, it's still a decent listen if one has a soft spot for ‘'80s thrash.


Formed: Athens, Greece

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Inspired by bands like Napalm Death, Celtic Frost, and Kreator, Greek thrash metal outfit Suicidal Angels formed in 2001 around the talents of guitarist Nick and bass player Kostas. The band released the demo United by Hate in 2002, followed by the EP Bloodthirsty Humanity in 2004. A four-track single appeared in 2006, paving the way for the group’s first full-length, Eternal Domination. By this time, the band (which now featured original vocalist/guitarist Nick, guitarist Panos, bass player Angel,...
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Sanctify the Darkness, Suicidal Angels
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