How many of you have heard the saying "Ignorance is bliss"? Don't many of you agree? Well, I certainly do and I tell you that the people who have only heard Sacrilegium and haven't heard the extended remixed version of it, The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms, will most likely be as blissful as a five-year-old with a popsicle upon hearing Sacrilegium. Congratulations, you own Sacrilegium, one of the most heavenly pieces of aural ecstasy to ever grace your stereo speakers...one of the most heavenly pieces of aural ecstasy to ever grace your stereo speakers until you hear The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms.
Damn, Devil Doll should have one of the most prominent cases of 20/20 hindsight upon completing The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms after Sacrilegium. The band should have just took their time and added all the extra little touches found on The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms, such as the Hitler and Mussolini vocal excerpts, and put them on Sacrilegium. Unfortunately, they didn't do that and they have rendered Sacrilegium worthless. Yes, folks(I'm being an extremist for a little fun here), this album is turned into rotten broccoli upon hearing SoFa. I know that many of you are saying right now in your minds "Well, remix albums suck and never compare to the original" and I'm here to tell you that in normal cases, that's right. In this case, however, it's the polar opposite. You see, SoFa isn't like some club remix of a popular dance song....it's almost an entirely different creature and the extra features added to it add SO much to the quality of the musical composition, and quite frankly, that quality isn't matched on Sacrilegium by default. This album is so damned rushed....it's like the band just wanted to get the album over with. The plodding string intro in the beginning(which comes later in SoFA) just doesn't fit. I much prefer the orchestra tuning and horn march in the beginning of SoFA. Also, during one string interlude, the band chops up all the notes and doesn't hold them out. Devil Doll's music isn't supposed to be tango for Christ's sake! Play the notes for the full and proper value!
Like I said, a part which, on SoFA, was reserved for somewhat later in the intro is stuck right in the beginning on Sacrilegium. Also, like I said, the 'polka' march of horns with the Hitler/Mussolini vocal excerpts on SoFA is totally done away with on Sacrilegium. Instead, it skips straight to the slow, ominous piano portion which gives way to Mr. Doctor's vocals. One good thing about this album(because I can't totally abandon my glass-half-full mentality) is that Mr. Doctor's vocals have improved tremendously. I don't know if it's just because the tone of this album is so much darker than that of Eliogabalus, but wow.....Sacrilegium truly puts the "Devil" back in Devil Doll.
There are definitely more and better string sections here, but they generally fail at life compared to the way they are done on SoFA. It's odd to think that a band like Devil Doll who aren't kissing any corporate ass at all would just make an album so choppy as this. SoFA did a more accurate job of weaving all the music together, and a big reason why that is so is because they reuse many of the guitar and vocal lines on that album, whereas it's more haphazard here. They only played that one lilting piano solo once here, whereas it's played twice on SoFA.(You know which one I'm talking about...the one in which the notes keep on crescendoing until hitting a sweet staccato)
Don't get me wrong...Sacrilegium is an excellent album, but when I hear the remixed version of it, I see how bland and lifeless it is compared to SoFA. Sacrilegium doesn't take enough time to let the drama actually unfold and would rather just jerk from one direction to another. Basically, one is screwed either way. If one hasn't heard The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms, but has heard Sacrilegium, he/she is depriving his/herself of the superior music, but if one has heard The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms and also owns Sacrilegium, then one is quite likely not to find the merit in Sacrilegium.
I understand that Devil Doll are humans as well and don't always make the best decisions, but I wish they would've had the foresight to make Sacrilegium like The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms and just done away with SoFA altogether. Also, by doing that, it would've given them room to create some totally original material, which is certainly preferable to listening to virtually the same album twice.
Basically, if you're a big fan of mediocrity and minimalism and/or you don't have the patience and/or time to sit through the longest CD track in existence(The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms), then Sacrilegium is for you. As for me, I'd rather have the supreme pizza than the pepperoni.