Greek tech thrashers Sacral Rage made a lot of people looking towards their direction with their debut album 2015’s Illusions in Infinite Void; and they have more than fulfilled their promise with their second full length Beyond Celestial Echoes that is much better than already good debut. We had to seek out for this entity in order to learn everything about this killer release…
Greetings Sacral Rage and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you guys doing these days?
Hello Metal Sound, we are pretty well, most of our time and energy these days goes to the promotion of our new album, so I would say that we are in a really productive period.
As I type this, your second album Beyond Celestial Echoes is blasting my speakers and mind so I have to congratulate you on another killer work! In my opinion, this album took everything that made Illusions in Infinite Void good and made it even better, how do you look upon this statement?
Thank you so much for your words. We agree with you, since we believe that we took the best elements of “Illusions…” and represented them in this new album. We tried to extent every aspect of our music and to include new elements as well. We believe that there are infinite combinations that we could try. But it takes dedication to achieve the best result.
Three years have passed between the two albums, please tell us what did you do in the meantime? Did success of Illusions in Infinite Void placed any kind of weight upon your shoulders?
We had decided that we wouldn’t be composing new material directly after “Illusions…”. “Illusions” had a huge impact over us and we didn’t want to have the exact same effect in “Beyond…”. So we took our time playing gigs to promote the album. We started to compose new ideas after a year and the material was ready in November 2017. So the actual time it took was less than two years. We felt a little anxious about the expectations of the people, so we took some extra time for the recording process as well because we wanted to make everything perfect.
As it seems to me, Beyond Celestial Echoes is conceptual album dealing with some kind of sci-fi adventures in space. Until we receive the album in physical format and read the lyrics carefully, please try to explain to us the concept behind the story…
Most of our songs have individual stories. We created a persona to unite all the stories of our songs and our live performances. This thing is called Prototype UL. He is an android made by an alien race that had faced extinction. He alone has to travel to space-time to find the necessary quantities of energy in order to be able to reach eternal life. During this celestial trip he visited the Earth and discovered that huge amounts of energy were overflowing from an intelligent organization who call themselves humans. This happens when humans are under the influence of fear, terror and despair. All of our stories are the testimonies that UL stood up during his journey.
I would also say that Beyond Celestial Echoes is step forward in musicianship sense, everyone in the band sounds tighter, and it seems that the band really grew together as a unit. What would you say about this statement?
Since we remain the same members from day one, it is only natural to be more tight in our Sixth year compared to our fourth. But besides the music part, the tying is mainly in the way of thinking. It is clear to all of us what we want to do and we share a common vision. We respect each other’s opinion and music skills and there is trust in how much each of us can overwhelm his part.
You said that the album is inspired by Rush, Mercyful Fate, Annihilator, Death and Crimson Glory, such a great names! I can definitely hear their influences but in the same time Sacral Rage have created something of your own. Was it hard to accomplish and how do you see this originality vs. quality debate in metal?
We have to thank you again for your words! It is different to indicate which artists have influenced you than saying that you are playing just like some bands. We always try to do things in our own way. We also believe that due to the variety of our influences, the result is something unique.
As far as for the debate, we believe that originality and quality are equally important. You can have quality in your sound and be a copycat at the same time or otherwise you can have originality given in a very poor way. There should be a balance of these two.
I must admit that Beyond Celestial Echoes reminds me of Vektor’s Terminal Redux, both albums are highly technical and original thrash with space concept and I would say that the albums like this are needed to push the thrash metal scene forward. How do you see the comparison with this modern masterpiece?
We believe that Terminal Redux is one the greatest albums of our times. We had the chance to play together with these guys in Greece. It was a killer gig. We are glad that there are people that places us in the same category with such a special band. Although we believe that we are doing something different, we are not so thrash and there is a clearly difference in the vocals. But it is easy to discern many of our common influences.
Can you predict where would you go further in the future with Sacral Rage, maybe even some more progressive directions? Last song on the album The Glass maybe would indicate that…
We have said many times that two of our greatest influences are RUSH and WATCHTOWER. Which for us they really represent the real meaning of progressiveness in music. So the progressive elements are something that always fascinate us. But we are equally enthusiastic about our other elements too. So we cannot predict what our next step will be. The only thing is that we won’t fall to the trap of overloading our music just to be even more unique.
Can you please tell us something about that magnificent cover art for the album, who was responsible for it?
Credits will have to go to Dimitar Nikolov. After we had seen the amazing work he had made for our good friends DEMOLITION TRAIN, we already knew that he was the man. The only thing we did was to send him the lyrics and let him freely express himself. The only guideline we gave him was that we wanted the cover to have a feeling of a 70s sci-fi book.
Is it hard to come from Greece and have the band successful on international level? Your homeland is mostly famous for its specific kind of black metal and Firewind on the other hand, how do you fit in and what are your local favorites?
I believe that back in the days, things were too hard for the Hellenic Black metal scene too. It took a lot of effort and several years to be established. So history has shown that everything can be done and the only limitations that really exist are the ones we set up for ourselves. We try not to complain about whether our environment favors us and we are trying to be one of the bands that will hopefully open new ways for the interest of the world for the Greek metal scene. Some of our favorite acts are: DEAD CONGREGATION, RAVENCULT, WRATHBALDE, SOLITARY SABRED, HAIL SPIRIT NOIR, DOOMOCRACY, NECROVOROUS, CONVIXION, SABOTER, ACCELERATOR, WAR DANCE, RESURGENCY, RAPTURE, ABYSSUS, MACABRE OMEN, DEMOLITION TRAIN, THE TEMPLE, HEATHENDOM, CHAINSAW, NIGHTBREED, SPEEDRUSH, MENTALLY DEFILED, NEED, POEM, DIRTY GRANNY TALES, BATTLEROAR, FALL OF ORDER, DEXTER WARD, EXARSIS, EMBRACE FIRE, EMBRACE OF THORNS, DECEPTOR, NORTHWIND, SPITIFIRE, ROTTING CHRIST, FATAL MORGANA, KAWIR, WARDUM, INNERWISH, DEVISER, ZEMIAL, WASTEFALL, AGATUS, NEMESIS, FLAMES, ACID DEATH and the list can become really long…
Please tell us what lies in the near future for Sacral Rage, where can we expect to see you in the next few months? Are some tours already planned?
We are planning a lot of things at the moment but we don’t want to announce anything until it’s solid. We hope to play soon for our friends in the Serbia too. Let’s see what the future holds…
That would be all for this time, I would like to thank you for this chat and wish you all the best! Your last message to Serbian fans…
Thank you for this interview Metal Sound!
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- Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic