Genres: Progressive Power Metal
Label: ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records
Members on Necropolis:
Richard F. Hesselink – Vocals
Randy Meinhard – Guitars
Christian Göwert – Guitars
Kees Harrison – Bass
Jonas Schütz – Drums
SACROSANCT was established in 1988 by guitarist Randy Meinhard and drummer Marco Foddis, who had gotten to know each other when they joined Pestilence. In 1990 SACROSANCT released its debut album ‘Truth is – what is’. The album is characterized by technically sophisticated thrash metal. The dual guitars create an aural tapestry that is both straightforward, atmospheric and melodious, augmented by a tight rhythmic foundation and topped with a moaning, yet angry and raw voice.
Creative band leader Randy Meinhard considered guitar tandems in bands like Queensrÿche, Exodus and Iron Maiden his main influences, and Kiss’ Ace Frehley initially sparked his fire. In Rock Hard magazine publisher-to-be Holger Stratmann claimed: ‘The record contains as many riffs as all Slayer albums put together.’
SACROSANCT wrote and recorded their second album ‘Recesses for the depraved’ in 1991 at Dust Music Studio in Hilchenbach. With a more edgy sound it turned out to be a little more melodious and dramatic than the debut. For the album cover SACROSANCT managed to obtain the rights to use H. R. Giger’s painting ‘Das Spiegelbild’. When Giger died 23 years later, Rolling Stone magazine stated that ‘the disturbing Giger cover art accurately conveyed the savage nature of the music’.
‘Tragic Intense’, the third album, added even more melody and atmosphere to the SACROSANCT signature sound than its predecessors. There is hardly a static part to be detected. In an interview with music magazine Iron Pages in April of 1993 Randy Meinhard stated that “the dark basic mood is what we intended to do. It just should sound sinister.” In that very issue Markus Wosgien described the album as a mixture of Thrash-, Doom- and Power Metal, and classified it as a milestone within each genre. Frank Albrecht rated it nine out of ten points. The opening song ‘At least pain lasts’ – a musical suicide note – unfortunately was to foreshadow the band’s breaking up a short while after ‘Tragic Intense’ was released.
The brainchild of founding member and lead guitar player Randy Meinhard returned to the scene after a 25-year hiatus with a new album, ‘Necropolis’, released through Rock of Angels Records (ROAR) on November 30th, 2018.
‘Necropolis’ was engineered, mixed and mastered by Max Morton of Morton Studios, who has also remastered the entire SACROSANCT back catalogue. A prolific professional with a broad clientele, Max has worked with a wide variety of acts, including prominent Ukranian metalcore combo Jinjer. The objective with ‘Necropolis’ was to record a classic, analogue-sounding album using modern technologies, whilst avoiding any current metal clichés.
Initially intended solely as a studio project, ‘Necropolis’ was recorded by a brand-new SACROSANCT line-up featuring Randy Meinhard and Christian Göwert on guitars, Richard F. Hesselink on vocals, and Kees Harrison – formerly of Dutch prog-metal act Sphere of Souls – on bass. During the recording sessions, it soon became apparent that the new line-up wanted to continue working together and bring the new material to the stage. Rock Of Angels Records have helped SACROSANCT bring these plans to fruition.
While ‘Necropolis’ bears all of the hallmarks and intricacies that characterize SACROSANCT, it displays a more mature and focused approach to songwriting. Songs like ‘The New Age Of Fear’, ‘My Last White Light’ and ‘Only One God‘ are lyrically thought-provoking, presenting a brand of metal that still makes the band hard to categorize. Like its predecessor, ‘Tragic Intense’, which was released in 1993, ‘Necropolis’ places a strong emphasis on melancholy melodies and clean vocals, but also incorporates many harmony guitar parts, fast tempi and some modern twists that mark the beginning of a new chapter for the band.
The epic cover art for ‘Necropolis’ was designed by Giannis Nakos, based on the band’s ideas, and perfectly portrays the album’s dark subject matter. It prominently features SACROSANCT’s new mascot, the Weeping Angel – a guardian and an avenger of injustice.
Keep an eye out for SACROSANCT – and stay tragic!