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Envoy Of Death
LP $19.95

09/03/2021  

ANTI-GOTH 570 


***Pioneering Finnish metal band Sarcofagus first released the "Go to Hell / All Those Lies'' single in 1979, and then quickly released its first two albums in 1980, the very same year in which Iron Maiden released its self-titled debut. The first of these recordings, "Cycle of Life," provided evidence of a talented group that was on the brink of fully defining itself. While it is a worthy accomplishment in its own right, "Cycle of Life'' was to be overshadowed by its imminent successor, "Envoy of Death." Over the span of its first three recordings, Sarcofagus underwent a few lineup changes, which culminated in the quintet of Kuusniemi (guitars), Juha Kiminki (bass), Ari-Pekka Roitto (drums), Esa Kotilainen (keyboards), and Hannu Leidén (vocals) on the second album. Following the "Go to Hell / All Those Lies'' single, the addition of Kotilainen, one of the most accomplished keyboardists in all of Finland, proved to be of essential significance to the band's climactic sound, which had fully developed by the time the second album was recorded. Although it is heavy metal at its core, "Envoy of Death'' also exudes elements of heavy psych, which are often expressed in the atmospheres created by the keyboard passages and the twisted, effect-laden guitar leads. While this sound is easily observed by even the most casual listener, what is perhaps more elusive is the thematic concept that frames the album and gives purpose to each song.

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