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Albert Bell's Sacro Sanctus

Alexia Baldacchino

Sometime in 2011 Albert started working on the music for his solo project, later named ALBERT BELL'S SACRO SANCTUS. By autumn of 2012 he was able to present 2 demo songs to Metal On Metal Records with whom he'd been co-operating because of NOMAD SON. It wasn't what most would expect from the veteran of the doom scene... it was more of a return to the roots when it comes to his influences and musical career. And it was also the first time Albert's vocals were to be heard on a recording. This darker and much more "evil" sounding side of Albert's musical expression appealed right away to the label and the sides agreed to work with each other again.

The debut album, "Deus Volt" was recorded during 2013 and 2014 at Chris Grech's (NOMAD SON guitarist) studio as well as at the renowned Temple Studios with sound engineering and music production guru David Vella. 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.

ALBERT BELL'S SACRO SANCTUS is 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.
Lyrically, "Deus Volt" sees Albert drawing on both myth and historical fact. It centres on a fictional tale that charts the conjuring and embracing of arcane forces by the higher echelons of the Fatimid dynasty in the midst of efforts of rival caliphates to oust their supremacy. As Fatimid power is ascertained, a bolder challenge arises in the form of successive crusader incursions, spearheaded by the rise of the Knights Templar and other Christian military orders, including the Knights of Outremer and the Knights Hospitalier (Knights of St.John). As their banners rise and battle-cries holler in the East, Christianity's ever-increasing military and political power and expansive ambitions resonate across uncharted territory. Blood is spilled across the battlefields of Hattin and Ascalon as these opposites clash! Drawing upon myth, belief, superstition, courage and the search for glory; both sides vie for ultimate supremacy under the panoptical gaze of the Monolith - the all-encompassing God! Deus Volt! (God Wills It!)
ALBERT BELL'S SACRO SANCTUS debut album was released on November 14th, 2014 through Metal on Metal Records. It brings savage epic blackened doom metal that you can raise your fist and headbang to! Primeval metal intended for the discerning and elite old-schoolers!

Albert started working on his sophomore album still long before the debut was out. For the second SACRO SANCTUS album "Ad Aeternum", Albert uses the same musical and song-writing formula explored on "Deus Volt", though perhaps now somewhat more refined with his increasing studio experience as a solo artist. This said, Albert's approach remains steadfast and resolute in its commitment, dedication and celebration of old school metal, without any compromises whatsoever.
Lyrically, "Ad Aeternum" revisits Templar history, combining fact, myth and fiction once more. After the Templars' rise to supremacy over the Saracen hordes, the Knights Templar continue on their primary quest in the Holy Land - to unravel the secrets of the Temple of Solomon. On this journey, the Knights Templar encounter, among other things, ancient Hermetic texts that spoke of a monolithic, all-encompassing God well before the origins and rise of Christendom. The Knights' interactions with Fatimid and Saracen traditions and lore also made them privy to other forces of esoteric and arcane knowledge, including the rudiments of ancient Sumerian/Babylonian magick. Armed with such arcana imperii, the Templars become even more invincible and a growing threat to the Papacy and theological orthodoxy - the very foundations of the Christian world are thus threatened. Steps are taken by the Papacy, cajoled by the French Monarchy (one of the principle power brokers at the time) to crush the Templars and destroy their influence throughout Europe. A brutal Templar inquisition is undertaken (this is where the album draws on historical fact) with the Order facing charges of witchcraft, demonology, devil worship and so forth. All this is documented on the track titled "Hex and Heresy". As referenced in the mid-section of the track, while the last Templar Grand Master de Molay is being burned at the stake, he and his associates curse their persecutors (Pope Clement and King Philip of France) who eventually die within a year of de Molay's torture and burning. Following the proclamations made by their Grand Master while burning at the pyre, the surviving Templars invoke dark Sumerian demi-gods and deities and unleash the foulest of deaths on their foes (as documented on both "Seal of Damnation" and "Invocations of Unlight"). Despite their persecution, many Templars survived and continued to wield untold power worldwide till this very day (hence the last track "Illuminati (Will to Power)" on the album - and the title track "Ad Aeternum"). "Ad Aeternum" was again recorded at Chris Grech's studio, between July 2014 and August 2015, while drums were recorded by Robert Spiteri at the Temple Studios of David Vella, who contributed some keyboards and who again co-produced, mixed and mastered the album. Sparing no quarter, this gauntlet-clad fist in the face of all hipster pretenders and new metal trenders was released on April 29th, 2016 through Metal on Metal Records.

Albert continued following up his forays into Templar history and myth with a third album (the final instalment in Sacro Sanctus' Knights Templar trilogy), which delved into the Templars' diaspora after their coerced disbanding and their links with contemporary esotericism and various secret societies.

Titled "Liber III: Codex Templarum", the album focuses on the Order of 13's fate following their coerced dissolution including their alleged involvement in insurrections against despotic rule in Scotland and the Alpine lands in the 14th century. Templar myth and fiction are combined to masterful effect once more as our erstwhile protagonist unleashes riff upon riff of untainted and feral old school, blackened heavy metal forged from a cauldron of pedigree influences from Celtic Frost to Trouble, to Motorhead, Bathory and Venom. With "Liber III: Codex Templarum", Sacro Sanctus continues to successfully tread along the true footprint of the genre with all its best ingredients meshed in a chalice of metalized blood that should satiate the thirst of elite metal aficionados.

We find some changes in band personnel on "Liber III" - Steve Lombardo (well known in Malta for his pounding and malevolent drumming with local punk legends BNI plus his studio work with myriad Maltese bands) now joined on drums and Owen Grech (one the island's most talented shredders) on lead guitar. Owen (KILLERWITCH, ex-12TH ODE, MALTA DIO DISCIPLES) handles most of the guitar solo work on the album after being enrolled together with Steve and organ player Luciano Schembri on Sacro Sanctus cover of "The Shrine in the Gloom" - which featured in “Terror Tales” -  a Death SS tribute released by Black Widow Records in 2018. Albert retained vocal, bass and all the rest of guitar duties together with his now tried and tested song writing and composition skills.
All the pre-production work was completed between November 2017 and January 2018 at Steve Lombardo's Hell Next Door Studios (Gudja, Malta) while the album was mixed and mastered once more by Albert's erstwhile collaborator David Vella at Temple Studios, Mistra Bay, Malta. "Liber III: Codex Templarum" was released on September 5th, 2018 by Metal on Metal Records. Raw and primal as you can get, Bell sounded the clarion of battle once more with his third declaration of war! 
With his Templars trilogy now complete, Albert went about the task of forging a new exciting concept for his fourth album. “Sword of Fierbois” is the fruit of this intense labour, charting circa 700 years of European history, from 732 AD to the 1430s.  With his penchant for story-telling very evident once more, Albert explores how the fate of myriad chief protagonists of the Middle Ages, including most notably, Charles ‘The Hammer’ Martel, Charlemagne and Joan of Arc, was intimately tied to the possession of the allegedly miraculous and mythical blade – the Sword of Fierbois.
Throughout the process we meet several other important historical personages, from the Umayyad Caliphate Commander Abdul Rahman, Henry V, the Daughin of France (Charles VII) and the Cardinal of Winchester, Henry Beaufort. Milestone battlescapes, including the Battle of Tours (732 AD), the Battle of Agincourt (1415) and the Siege of Orleans (1428-9), are also visited and retold in all their ferocious glory. 

Recorded during the height of the Covid pandemic late 2021 at Steve Lombardo’s Hell Next Door Studios and mixed by Grammy Award winner Marcus Jidell (AVATARIUM, THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM, CANDLEMASS, etc.),   the album features 11 blistering, no-holds-barred and merciless tracks of crushing old school metal. Steve Lombardo retains his position behind the drum stool for this album.  Various and much-esteemed guests from both Maltese shores and beyond also join Albert (vox, bass and guitars) in animating his vision for “Sword of Fierbois”, including the likes of Mantas (VENOM.INC), Alan Jones (PAGAN ALTAR), JOHN GALLO (ORODRUIN), and the afore-mentioned Marcus Jidell. The album is mastered by CJ Grimmark from Lighthouse Mastering (Norway) and was released through Metal on Metal Records once more on September, 30th, 2022.September 30th, 2022.

Rejoice metalheads, for the hour of the Sword has come! Are you old school enough to handle it?

Band Members


Steve Lombardo

Vocals, Bass, Guitars

Albert Bell



Ad Aeturnum [CD] | Albert Bell's Sacro Sanctus

Deus Volt [CD] | Albert Bell's Sacro Sanctus

Liber III: Codex Templarum [CD] | Albert Bell's Sacro Sanctus

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