Next year Finnish (top) act Sacrilegious Impalement will celebrate its tenth anniversary, but the celebration party already started by compiling their three oldest releases under the flag of First Three Nails. After those three items, the band recorded and released three excellent full length studio albums (within the Archives you will find two of them), but let’s focus on this compilation, which comes with a six-page booklet, and after being remastered at Digivision Records.
First Three Nails opens with the three tracks from the band’s untitled demo that was released in early Autumn 2006 on CD-r format. It was limited to 112 copies and saw the light via Kaos Propaganda Productions. Everything was recorded with assistance of Atte Karstila (just like the other material on this compilation) and as from the start it shows an enormous maturity, as if the band did play together for several years. Damn, opener Total Annihilation shows one of the strengths of the (Finnish) scene, for combining melody with intensity, and for mingling Scandinavian-styled majesty with timeless fierceness. Thrashing leads and grim vocals get supported heavily by a pounding rhythm section, and all this comes in a cover of fine-tuned production, i.e. raw and rough at the one hand, yet appropriate and impeccably necessary too. It speaks for itself that both other tracks, Holy Terror and Eternal Agonies, are comparable in sound and execution. It maintains the obscurity and grimness that characterises the whole Nordic-styled trend, yet with maintaining universal façade, and taking care of some variation – at least within tempo and structure. And damn no, this stuff does not renew, but seen the age…
Next are the four compositions of the EP Sacrilegious Impalement, the band’s first effort on Blasphemous Underground Productions. This mini was originally released at the very end of 2007 and it has a sound little more professionally elaborated that the demo. The intentions are totally comparable, defining an energetic and rough form of (European) Black Metal with that specific Second Wave attitude, balancing in between the epic of melody and the anger of misanthropic compositional grimness. Once again the band (build especially around vocalist / bassist Kaosbringer and guitarist Von Bastard, with drums performed by long-time collaborator Assassin) succeeds to bring anti-renewing stuff with an own, specific execution and a structurally grandiose song writing; and the latter fully and truly forgives the lack of originality (once again). And to be honest, I think the version of Eternal Agonies on this EP is even better performed than the original recorded edition of the demo.
First Three Nails ends with both tracks taken from the 7”EP World In Ashes (Blasphemous Underground Productions, September 2008; vinyl only), and it’s evident that these pieces go on in the very same vein. Both the title track and Behead The Infants Of God sort of combine the rawness of the European Old School with the specific epic melodies of the Scandinavian currents more characteristically. Especially the title track consists of those traditional elements, yet the initial B-side comes with a groovier and more black’n’rollin’ attitude, which was /and still is/ quite enjoyable.