Sacrilege: Behind the Realms of Madness 2x12" (new)

Relapse Records


Relapse is honored to present the first ever fully authorized reissue of the legendary UK band Sacrilege's landmark debut 'Behind The Realms Of Madness'. Originally released in 1985, Sacrilege were one of the first bands of the 80s that both punks and metalheads rallied behind. Propelled by singer Lynda 'Tam' Simpson's ferocious vocals and polticically charged lyrics, 'Behind The Realms of Madness' blended crust, thrash, hardcore, doom and death-metal to create a timeless album that has directly influenced scores of punks and heshers alike. Now fully remastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Hooded Menace, Obituary) with SEVEN previously unreleased bonus tracks and expanded art and liner notes!

Our take: Double-LP reissue of this punk-metal classic with seven bonus tracks from live shows and demos added for good measure. The Sacrilege double LP that Havoc released a while back was a nice teaser, but of course the reissue of Behind the Realms is the main event. Whether or not you think it's one of the best punk/metal albums of all time (and many, many people do!) it's hard to argue that Sacrilege didn't pioneer a certain sound: a brutally heavy combination of Discharge's relentless rhythms with the slicker fretwork of thrash metal. So many bands have attempted to sound like this in the intervening years that it's easy to forget that this sound really starts here. And what continues to separate Sacrilege from the pack are Tam's distinctive, instantly-recognizable double-tracked vocals, which lend Sacrilege a catchiness that other bands simply can't match. As for this reissue, the stickler could certainly nitpick, and you can probably tell by the artwork that this is something of a reimagining of this record to appeal to a modern metalhead. Obviously the artwork is updated but I don't mind that; while the original has a certain rough-hewn charm, it's not as if it's going to win any prizes in graphic design. The record has, however, been pretty significantly remastered. The original is mixed with the vocals and drums (particularly cymbals) right up front, but this reissue places more of the emphasis on the middle part of the frequency range where the guitar and bass intersect. It's not necessarily better or worse, but if you're used to hearing the original it'll definitely sound weird at first. While it's not as if it's a totally different record, boosting the guitars and bass like this definitely makes the record feel less frantic and more controlled, giving it an almost proto-death-metal vibe in places that I never really associated with the original. So, while the reissue isn't as "authentic" as the record collector set would have it, I'm definitely stoked to have this classic back on the shelves.
Tags: 80s crust female-fronted hardcore metal recommended reissues uk