Sacrilege were a female-fronted thrash metal band from the Midlands region of England. Despite having played relatively few gigs during their existence, Sacrilege are today recognised as an important band; both as an influence on later heavy metal and doom metal bands, and as an example of the blending of hardcore punk, radical politics, and heavy metal that occurred during the 1980s, making Sacrilege one of the prototypical crust punk bands of the time.
Prior to the formation of Sacrilege, guitarist Damian Thompson,drummer Andy Baker released a pair of thrash metal demos under the moniker Warwound. In 1983, the duo joined the Varukers, Damian left the Varukers in 1984 to form Sacrilege. In 1984 and ’85, the band recorded demos and contributed tracks to the compilations We Won’t Be Your Fucking Poor (Mortarhate, 1985) and Anglican Scrape Attic (a pre-Earache release from Digby Pearson)
After replacing drummer Pickering with Andrew Baker, Sacrilege recorded their first album, Behind the Realms of Madness, in 1985, which was released through the Bristol-based label Children of the Revolution (COR) Records. The album was moderately successful, selling a respectable 7000 copies. Shortly after this, the band brought in former Warhammer member Mitch Dickinson on second guitar, although he never played live with the band and he soon left to join hardcore group Heresy and later Unseen Terror. Around this time, the band were approached by FM Revolver Records, but this ultimately went nowhere.
Their second release, Within the Prophecy, was recorded in January 1987 at Birmingham’s Rich Bitch Studios with Rob Bruce and producer Mike Ivory. It was released later that year through Under One Flag Records, a subsidiary of Music for Nations. Sacrilege underwent a significant line-up change at this juncture, replacing drummer Baker with Paul Brookes, bassist May with Paul Morrisey and adding rhythm guitarist Frank Healey. After a further change, this time replacing Brookes with new drummer Spikey T. Smith, the new line-up recorded the band’s third album, Turn Back Trilobite, issued in April 1989. This record saw the band moving away from their thrash metal roots into a more doom metal musical direction, with touches of folk. Sacrilege split up quietly in the early 1990s.
After Sacrilege, Healey and Baker would go on to join Cerebral Fix, with Healey later joining Benediction and Baker also playing in an early incarnation of Cathedral. Brookes would also Benediction, and then metal act Marshall Law in 1999.
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