Throwback Thursday: Sacrilege – “Behind The Realms Of Madness”

sacrilege behind the realms of madness

Sadly, like so many bands, Sacrilege passed away far before its time. After putting out only three full-length albums, beginning with Behind the Realms of Madness ending with their heavily doom-laden Turn Back Trilobite in 1989, Sacrilege decided to call it quits that same year and, until now, have only been heard of on cover compilations. Sacrilege are not only back together (as is Discharge) but Behind The Realms Of Madness will be reissued by Relapse Records on November 13, 2015. The reissue will include seven previously unreleased bonus tracks and a complete re-master by none other than Brad Boatright of Audiosiege.

First off, I wrote about Sacrilege for the wonderfully informative metal trivia project Skulltoaster. You can check out that piece (a shorter version of this one) here. If you haven’t already signed up for Skulltoaster’s nightly email you really should get on that.

‘Behind The Realms Of Madness’ was originally released in 1985 by COR Records. Formed in 1984 by vocalist Lynda “Tam” Simpson and guitarist Damian Thompson Sacrilege is a prime example of a punk/metal crossover band. Their early punk/d-beat sound bordered on hardcore and easily transitioned into their later doom /thrash influenced sound. It was this combination that made Sacrilege one of the early, dominant bands to garner the label ‘crust.’ Behind The Realms Of Madness is an album on which influences like Crass and Discharge are clearly evident but are seamlessly intertwined with influences from the emerging thrash/death scene.


The lyrical themes of the album centered heavily on punk ideals (e.g. corruption, poverty, nuclear war) rather than the classic dark themes of metal. Behind The Realms Of Madness sold only 7,000 copies upon its release but has, over time, grown to be something of a legend. For example, Bolt Thrower list Sacrilege as a huge influence. Napalm Death recorded their first album at Rich Bitch and even covered the track “Lifeline’” (the opening track off Behind The Realms Of Madness) on the 2012 Compilation Respect Your Roots.

Behind The Realms Of Madness is an absolute burner. A record that brings metal fans and punk fans together. An album that acts as a sort of gateway for metalheads to crossover to punk and vice versa. But, regardless of it’s drug-like abilities, Behind The Realms Of Madness is a terrific, timeless and crucial album for everyone and their mother (an idiom). If you missed out back in 1985 because you were too young or too high or your parents refused to let you listen to good music, now is your chance. Listen to Sacrilege and make them your own!

– Manny-O-War

Behind the Realms of Madness is available 11.13.2015 via Relapse Records. For more information on Sacrilege head over to their Facebook page.


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