For over forty years, heavy metal music has been the musical manifestation of the rebellious spirit of the human psyche. The proud pariah. The nonconformist. The one who overcomes weakness and adversity. The one who sees the world as it is and is unafraid to show it’s dark side. In short, heavy metal has never been for the squeamish, the trendy, the idly curious or those who object to the limits of music or social mores being pushed.

Today, metal music is in trouble. For the first time in its history, the new breed of artists have not only run out of fresh ideas, they have lost touch with what originally made the music appealing to youth in the first place. The style, look, attitude, staying power and musical ability of its forebears have been replaced by the vapid trends of a dying music industry and a touchy-feely “sensitivity” more akin to a whimpering teenager slitting his wrist than a challenging, dangerous art form that once drew the ire of authority figures and sanctimonious music critics.

The word “sacrilege” means “Desecration, profanation, misuse or violation of something regarded as sacred.” Hence, a “sacrilegist” is “one who is guilty of sacrilege.” Sakrilejist is a new breed of extreme metal band: one that looks to break away from established trends and shun the sacred cows of religion, politics and a society based on mindless conformity.

Sakrilejist was formed in 2014 when Philadelphia scene veterans Aaron Celsus (guitar/vocals), Brian Divver (bass) and Mark Vizza (drums) recorded a 3 song demo that was widely circulated throughout eastern Pennsylvania. Within a year, the band recorded and released their debut, “Malum In Se” (latin for “evil in itself”). From the opening notes of the opening cut, “Lamb of God, Goat of Satan”, the message put forth to the underground metal scene’s gatekeepers is clear: trends mean nothing to them.

In an underground scene that is more about adhering to phony rules within a given sub-genre, “Malum In Se” is a call to arms for a new breed of metal fan as well as older ones who are fed up with modern fads and concessions to political correctness that the genre has made of late. While the mainstream continues to cling to aging icons and promote new bands that have nothing to offer beyond a groove and a lot of screaming, Sakrilejist plays extreme metal with a dark undercurrent that violently lashes out against weakeners of all stripes with no apologies given. For metal fans looking for a dark, ominous approach to extreme metal with quality musicianship, “Malum In Se” is the release they’ve been waiting for.