The language of metal is filled with a finite amount of dark, excessively graphic and usually made up words. Thus, we have to clarify that we are discussing the Sacrificio from Spain. They are not to be confused with Puerto Rican death metal act Sacrificio or the Chilean death metal outfit Sacrificio or Brazilian horde Sacrificio who provides the world with blackened death metal or the Sacrificio we know and love, Argentinian purveyors of melodic death metal or even the Mexican Sacrificio (de Muero) aka S.D.M. who shred some melodic doom / death metal. No, this Sacrificio plays black metal and does so from Montjuïc (I assume) in Spain.
Now that we’ve effectively boiled down the Sacrificio we are dealing with to the one specific to Spain let’s see what the album has to offer. Guitar tones are in the Archgoat manner: Treble turned low and muffled with a distorted tone that is likely somewhat close to what Wes Montgomery was going for but then fed through a series of Boss Heavy Metal HM-2 pedals before going into an amp with tone settings tuned to the opposite of Spinal Tap’s 11. The effect is such as to make the instrumentation sound as if it’s pouring at you out of a metallic tube insulated with bubble gum.
What sets Sacrificio apart from similar bands is the drumming. There is hardly a blast beat to be found across the record. So while “black metal” is an appropriate label, it’s more like “blackened [insert genre]” depending on the track. For example, “La Marca del Hereje” takes on a more black n’ roll type rhythm hopping along while the lead line borders on soloing before the song becomes a rather straight-forward beat. “Ritos Funerarios,” at under two minutes, provides plenty of blackened occult black metal (which is now a thing). Similarly remarkable to bands like Ride for Revenge and Void Meditation Cult albeit with more powerful vocals and a heartier lead line on the guitars.
At over three minutes, “Vástagos de la Abominación,” is one of the more upbeat, aggressive tracks on the album, using traditionally punk rhythmic stops, screams of terror and a few tasteful whammy dives, the track powers forehead with a sort of blackened take on Motörhead. At over five minutes, “Centinela de los Túmulos,” rides riffs akin to a sped up Judas Priest or REO Speedwagon [editor’s note: what]. The result is almost a blackened take on classic rock. Of course, that’s hard to hear beneath the pummeling double bass and the putridly spat vocals.
The album itself, when taken as a whole, is extremely enjoyable. In particular, the instrumental breaks, coupled with the syncopated drumbeats and muffled lead lines, really make for some actually bouncy music. At times Guerra Eterna sounds like an angry bull rushing through a crowd of unsuspecting tourists who failed to wear ass-padding. At other times it sounds more like the cover belies, a few men making ritualistic music and sacrifice deep within a cavern of Madrid’s more seedy underbelly. Not to be left to those extremes, Guerra Eterna also provides plenty of variation on a classically Finnish take on black metal.
While Sacrificio might be confused with the endless number of bands sharing their name, they have done enough on Guerra Eterna to separate themselves from the crowd at large. Their music is neither routine nor redundant. Rather, the boys set themselves to writing quality compositions of varying length that all tend to make sense together while not sounding exactly like each other. And you don’t have to worry about them not making another album, as you will see from the cover they are well armed with rat sticks, freshly purchased links of chains, armor and plenty of fire.