Review: “The Foul Deth of Engelond” by Sacred Son

When seeking inspiration for their third album, London Black Metal quartet Sacred Son chose the left hand path less travelled and instead of joining the masses who took on Dante’s Inferno, they looked to the rich vein that is historical reference. The 1381 Peasants Revolt was their choice of concept as they found within its confines the opportunity to weave historical record with speculative inversion in recounting the tale of the fierce and bloody uprising as a proto-revolutionary moment in English history. Principal songwriter and multi instrumentalist Dane Cross describes it as an ode to righteous left-wing political violence that echoes todays fractured World. Recorded in the cold dark winter of 2020 by tube-amp maestro Chris Fullard (Ulver, Sunn O)))), Boris) at the analogue-focused Holy Mountain Studios in London, these sessions were then mixed by Randall Dunn (Wolves in the Throne Room, Earth, Kayo Dot) at his Circular Ruin studio in NYC.

In creating “The Foul Deth of Engelond“, Scared Son are joined by Artem Litovchenko and Tetiana Franchenko who provide Cello and Piano accompaniments as the quartet break the chains and shackles of their recent more insular offerings and return to their earlier, more expansive roots. In doing so, their choice of Chris Fullard is so painfully obvious that it hurts as the rewards of doing so are simply so great as he has bestowed upon them a richness, texture and depth of guitar sound fits the bands style like a glove. Instrumental introduction piece “Pestilence” serves as a mere amuse bouche for the forty odd minute affair, a bleak and melancholic moment that offers the smallest of insights into what the album itself might offer before the epic 13 minute long monster of a title track takes hold. A gargantuan and at times monolithic beast, it holds the attention by offering a bleak depiction of a despondent World in Extreme Metal with moments that sonically distantly echoes Cradle Of Filth minus those trademark shill vocals. A true tour de force, it’s one that refines the Scared Son sound while in turn offering something fresh and new. Building the speed and intensity for the sinister and menacing “Le Blakheth” which has an almost theatrical quality with harsh whispers and aching piano so as the black clouds swirl over head, the World is plunged into darkness from which nothing can survive. Jamie Tatnell provides the percussive backbone, his performance throughout sublime and vitally important in creating atmosphere of this piece. Far from raw, the album is instead a piece of Black Metal majesty that has a resplendent quality to it, the unclean vocals needing to be comprehendible in order for the tale of blood spilling to be heard and understood although the feral performance of “The Boy King” is pure evil. The calm before the storm, the darkness is broken momentarily the morose and melancholic folk of the first half of “Vengeance” with clean vocals and what should be a lute from Cross intertwined with a female voice of aching beauty, that of Jade Ellins. It’s the classic build up to a crescendo of a finale that you can hear coming but don’t quite know when or how but it soon carries you away with it like the rising tide. The harsh dark beauty of “The Foul Deth of Engelond” is undeniable as it scolds with white heat and beats with rusty nails, each moment more captivating than the last as it plays out like a page turner of a novel [7.5/10]

Track Listing

1. Pestilence
2. The Foul Deth of Engelond
3. Le Blakheth
4. The Boy King
5. Vengeance I & II

The Foul Deth of Engelond” by Sacred Son is out 13th May 2022 via True Cult Records and is available over at bandcamp

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