Albert Bell's Sacro Sanctus

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Albert Bell is one of Malta’s most prolific heavy metal musicians and a life-long heavy metal fan. He formed his first band Exorcist in the early 80s with the vision of emulating the bands from the time, which captured his imagination early on in his heavy metal trajectory – from the trailblazing sounds of Black Sabbath to NWOBHM and early Thrash Metal. The band underwent various line-up changes until Albert teamed up with the Rizzo brothers and Karl Fiorini in 1986. Together, and then under the new moniker Kremation (the band decided to change their name after coming across the notorious “Nightmare Theatre” album by the US band with the same name), Albert and co released the band’s debut and only full-length cassette album release “Guardians of the Realm” in 1987. The album was possibly the first underground metal release from Malta, and from those early days Albert signalled his intentions to export Maltese metal far beyond the Island’s shores and insularity.

Following Kremation’s untimely demise, Albert joined Malta’s seminal thrashers Vandals on bass in 1989 until in search of like-minded souls interested in pursuing the path of true doom metal (a genre that he had become increasingly more passionate about with the passage of time), he helped to found Forsaken in 1991. What was originally intended as a brief stint to assist Leo, Simeon and co in their upcoming gig in September 1991, Albert joined the ranks of the band permanently. Shortly after his recruitment, the band started writing new songs in the epic doom direction, shed the traditional heavy/power metal songs that the band had in its repertoire and a name change from Blind Alley to Forsaken was also in order.

Forsaken’s rise to its present stature as one of the globe’s leading epic doom metal bands was eventful to say the least with the band recouping after losing guitarist and long-time friend Daniel Magri in 2001. After signing to Scotland’s Golden Lake Productions in 2002, the band’s fortunes took a turn for the better and several releases were to follow including “Dominaeon” in 2005, which is considered by connoisseurs in the scene as a landmark epic doom metal release. In his continual search to quench his desire for more doom metal, Albert formed Nomad Son in 2006 – a band whose path to doom metal glory has been unrelenting and which together with Forsaken has helped define Malta has a bastion for true doom metal in Southern Europe.

Albert Bell’s Sacro Sanctus was the next step in Albert’s heavy metal trajectory, where his song-writing, lyrical talents and musicianship all come to the fore. “Deus Volt” – Albert’s debut solo album captures and pays tribute to the myriad influences that have inspired him to date – from the formative influences of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Venom and Celtic Frost to Bell’s passion and love for classic doom metal as epitomised by Nemesis, Candlemass, Trouble and Saint Vitus. On “Deus Volt” one can also trace nods to epic metal and the dark, arcane soundscapes typical of the Italian and Hellenic metal scenes that Bell has always felt strong affinity to, reflective of the influences of Mediterranean culture on the music and thematic concepts that he has and continues to explore in his musical forays. Albert handles most of the instrumentation on the album (vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, and bass of course) with Robert Spiteri – Malta’s drumming prodigy from hard rockers Fire recruited on drums to masterful effect. The album was pre-produced by Chris Grech (Nomad Son/Frenzy Mono) and Albert at Chris’ home studio in Mellieha and mixed and mastered by David Vella (Temple Studios, Mistra Malta).

A follow-up album, entitled “Ad Aeternum”, was released in 2016, also through Metal On Metal Records. This album dealt with themes similar to “Deus Volt”, as did a third album, “Liber III: Codex Templarum”, released in 2018. In “Codex Templarum”, Albert Bell outsourced the skills of a drummer and guitarist, respectively Steve ‘Lombardo’ Attard and Owen Grech.

Influences:
Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Venom, Celtic Frost, Motorhead, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, The Black, Death SS, Paul Chain.
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Album discography:
Liber III: Codex Templarum (2018)
Ad Aeternum (2016)
Deus Volt (2014)

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