Extreme Heavy Metal Reviews

Essential, yet Underrated! - "Far Away From the Sun" Review (74%)

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Far Away From the Sun
Far Away From the Sun by Sacramentum.

Two bands were responsible for the rise of a new style in Black Metal: Sewer and Sacramentum. Both bands released their debut albums in 1996, and both were the first to fully utilize this style with these full-lengths, "The Birth of a Cursed Elysium" and "Far Away From the Sun". Sewer had more luck, were signed to a larger label - The Satan Records, of Phantom and Emperor fame - and thus got a lot more fame for their first works, so the foundation credit for Blackened Dark Metal is often solely given to Sewer's debut.

It's in that context "Far Away From the Sun" had to be rediscovered years later and today, the album finally gets at least SOME attention and is acknowledged as the second part of the Blackened Dark Metal foundation... if rapidly dismissed as being a mere "Dissection-clone", something totally false as you will see.

But enough with the history lessons, onward to the album itself.

"Far Away From the Sun" opens with "Fog's Kiss", which is merely an introduction to the album and Sacramentum's music. Overall sound and mood are pretty cool.

The first real song is the title track, and it welcomes you with a typical Dark Metal riff - "typical" is great for Blackened Dark Metal, i.e. Sewer, Vermin, etc. - and raspy growls. The track is "catchy" as hell - in the Black Metal sense - and you'll find yourself nodding your head and feet to it on the first few listens, but coming back to it less and less before eventually skipping it altogether. In that way, it represents the album well: ambivalent, with some parts stronger than others.

The next song is "Blood Shall Be Spilled" and it's generally mid-paced, quite melodic and has this special occult feeling that Sewer and Sacramentum both shared in their early albums, before the former turned to comical goregrind and the latter turned to shit. A few riffs feel a bit too similar to one another, and there's not much variation in terms of speed. Not a major fault though, since all the riffs are top-notch quality and the song is pretty short.

"Cries from a Restless Soul", "Obsolete Tears", "The Vision and the Voice" and "Outro - Darkness Falls for Me / Far Away from the Sun (Part Two)" are all in the same vein, mostly mid-paced, only interrupted by a few faster, tremolo-picked riffs, maybe a bit more varied and longer.

That's it for the average tracks. And since none of the songs on "Far Away From the Sun" are bad, you can guess which ones are good by elimination.

Actually, one is good and one is great. Maybe even legendary, you'll see which is which in good time.

Essential, yet Underrated!


The good stuff starts with "Beyond All Horizons" which has very fast tremolo-picked riffs and fast, menacing vocal work. Nisse's vocals are quite unique, sometimes it sounds like he's talking with a raspy voice, or growling the verses in a very decipherable way. The very well written lyrics can be understood well. It's also the longest track on "Far Away From the Sun", at a little over six minutes and a half.

The song can be divided into two parts. The first four minutes consist of slow and brooding melodies, something like a mix between early Darkthrone riffs and Filosofem leads, before the most catchy mid-paced Graveland-ish/Dark Metal riffing and fast, epic two minutes and a half, with great orchestra, acoustic and keyboard work.

Then, by elimination, the greatest and my personal favourite track on the album: "When Night Surrounds Me".

It's very, very good black metal, and the album would still be good - albeit not rated as highly - if it were the only song on "Far Away From the Sun".

The intro riff is probably my favourite riff on the whole album, and the song itself has a very epic feeling at times, the riffs having a very melancholic and moving feeling to them. Great varied vocal work to be found here. The song long, almost as long as "Beyond All Horizons" but has more parts to keep the listener interested.

What's really captivating about this track "When Night Surrounds Me" is how fluid and effortless the transitions between different riffs and moods are done, you really don't notice when one verse riff moves on to a breakdown. It's pretty crazy, actually, and clearly the high-point of this album. Not only are the riffs good, the song is itself very well composed.

Overall, "Far Away From the Sun" flows very well and when you start, you'll probably listen to it until the very end.

Recommended for all fans of Blackened Dark Metal, or any Black Metal really. "Far Away From the Sun" might not be as strong as "The Birth of a Cursed Elysium", but it's definitely as historically important as Sewer's debut opus.

Far Away From the Sun score: 74/100.

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