MMXX “Sacred Cargo” Review

Sacred Cargo
Candlelight Records
Released: November 11, 2022

Born through the pandemic, is a Doom metal supergroup known as MMXX, and an album named Sacred Cargo.

Supergroups, there’s just a certain allure to them. Like a child that spends endless hours pondering who might might win in a dual between Batman and The Incredible Hulk – supergroups offer that what would happen motif should members or certain bands come together to write music. More often than not, the combination of musicians that do meet up for such projects aren’t the ones most would pick – as is the case here with MMXX; but sometimes the elements that do collide provide some quality output. Again, as is the case here.

Who knew that the metal world needed a meeting of members of Daylight Dies, Novembre, The Forshadowing and Edge Of Sanity? I didn’t until this slick puppy appeared in my inbox one fateful day. Moreover, the list of guest musicians that contribute to this recording is impressive, to say the least. It really is a weird and wild and statement to say that the pandemic that kept us from one another, from tours and live music, had so much to offer too. If not for that poxy pandemic; much of the music that came out simply wouldn’t have, and projects such as MMXX, that were born during the initial lock down came to pass. MMXX is the sound of global pandemic isolation. Andrea Chiodetti (ex-The Foreshadowing) channeled inspiration in collaboration with Jesse Haff (Daylight Dies) and Egan O’Rourke (Daylight Dies). A geographically and stylistically diverse collection of celebrated vocalists layered in their own perspective, culminating in this compendium of music reflecting an experience understood by all.

See Also: Invictus “Unstoppable” Review

Guests spots from the likes of Mikko Kotamaki (Swallow The Sun), Mick Moss (Antimatter), Carmelo Orlando (Novembre), Yann Ligner (Klone), Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride), Marco Benevento (The Foreshadowing), and Chris Cannella (Autumn’s End). Bloody hell. Oh and then there’s the fact this whole thing is mixed and mastered at Unisound Studios by Dan Swanö, who also contributes to the final track of the record, Shadow Haven. I was impressed by the selection of guests that appeared on the most recent Ozzy Osbourne album, Patient Number 9, earlier in the year – well, surely, this is the Doom metal equivalent of that.

As a result, Sacred Cargo feels more like a compilation, as each track has its own distinct sound and feeling to it. While the instruments are played by the same core group, changing the vocalist for each number ensures that the record never reaches a level of similarity. Instead, each track has something to offer than the others might not, and the record becomes a very enjoyable listening. However, that also works against it in some aspects. Just when a certain groove is settling in, the vibe changes as the vocalist passes along the microphone. It is but a minor detail, admittedly, and one that can be easily overlooked given the sheer beauty that this project brings together.

There are so many great moments on Sacred Cargo, that pointing out a few becomes ridiculously hard. Choosing one over the detriment of another seems unfair, as each has its own voice and vocal distinction. Instead I’ll group everything together and comment on it as a collective whole. MMXX have created a great record that should appease any fan of the Doom genre, and with but a quick glance over the names that feature within, it should become obvious that this is a record that deserves to be heard.

This release becomes a little more special, if that is possible, when the fact that it has been a solid decade since any new material has been released by Daylight Dies. With any luck, this will be the motivation that is needed to rekindle Daylight Dies back into action. Curiously enough, this could have been an album recorded under than moniker too, as the similarities are obviously quite tightknit, given that two thirds of the musicians that make up MMXX are members of Daylight Dies.

Read More:
>> Katatonia at TD Studio, Montreal
>> Primitive Man “Insurmountable” Review
>> Johanna Sadonis & Nicke Andersson of Lucifer

I can’t help but wonder if this is a project that will pitter out now that the pandemic is seemingly over, or if MMXX will continue on, and if they do, who will they have guest on the next record? Perhaps Alan Averill (Primordial), Luc Bourgeois (Sandveiss), Vincent Cavanagh (Anathema), Theo Mindell (Orchid) and Aðalbjörn Tryggvason (Solstafir) would make for interesting collaborations. Given that I wouldn’t have chosen those that came together for this first record though, makes my selections moot. Time will tell what happens next, if anything, for MMXX – and until then, we have one hell of a great record to enjoy in Sacred Cargo.

Digital copies of the new MMXX album, Sacred Cargo, can be bought from the bands bandcamp page while physical versions can be had from Candlelight Records here.

For Fans Of: Daylight Dies, Shape Of Despair, Novembers Doom
Track Listing:

01. This Breath is Not My Breath (featuring Mikko Kotamaki, Egan O’Rourke)
02. Perdition Mirror (featuring Mick Moss)
03. The New Forgotten Ones (featuring Yann Ligner)
04. Faint Flickering Light (featuring Egan O’Rourke)
05. The Tower (featuring Mick Moss)
06. Unavailing (featuring Marco Benevento, Chris Cannella)
07. Der Nukleus (featuring Carmelo Orlando)
08. Sacred Cargo (featuring Aaron Stainthorpe)
09. Espirare
10. Shadow Haven (featuring Dan Swanö)

Author Rating

  • overall
  • composition
  • enjoyment
  • production
  • variety
  • memorability