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Sacred Leather - Ultimate Force

Sacred Leather
Ultimate Force
by Jason "Monotonija" McCraw at 04 April 2018, 11:55 AM

As "Ultimate Force" bellows forth its opening chord, which is sustained for just the right amount of time, we are instantly transported back into the early 1980s, and this seems to be just the result that Heavy Metal band SACRED LEATHER was looking for when they released this throwback gem. The opener, also the record's title track, bursts with retro feel and angst. The lead guitar passages; chaotic. The vocals; harsh and rife with falsetto glory. The bass; fast and roaring. The percussion; march to war drumming that sets the pace. If you miss what Heavy Metal once was back in the age of IRON MAIDEN's first two full-lengths, then it is immediately essential that you give SACRED LEATHER's "Ultimate Force" a thorough spin from beginning to end. This is real Heavy Metal.

Drums are slammed brutally during the next two outings, "Watcher" and "Power Thrust". The beat is undeniably head banging bliss, and the dirty guitars and bass lines add to the pleasure immeasurably. The recording quality somehow perfectly emulates that of those timeless albums released over thirty years ago, lending "Ultimate Force" a sound both authentic and quite enjoyable for older folks such as myself, who tend to miss the hiss of the cassette and the audible noise reduction now absent in almost all of today's musical recordings. The feel of the music is also nostalgic in a sense, its riffs and chords literally screaming "1982" throughout the record's duration.

Track four, "Dream Searcher", is one of those special ones, indeed. A mystical Metal ballad, its tune derived in a far-off land during ancient times, the song creates chills as it smooths over one's senses like a gently rolling creek over a cold stone floor. The vocals are velvet, and the music is a mind-expanding high full of solace and wonderment. This track is followed by the synth-heavy song "Master Is Calling", a tune that just slays with a twangy bass line and furious guitars. Five songs in, this reviewer is convinced that there are many things at work here that have been executed to utter perfection. SACRED LEATHER has pulled off a doozy of an album, and it is just plain damn good!

"Prowling Sinner", the record's second to last track, starts off with a magnificent Baroque-esque intro, and then brings the thunder with reckless abandon. A track that fervently embraces everything that '80s Metal was, the song is absolutely phenomenal. The album closes with the epic "The Lost Destructor / Priest Of The Undoer", a lengthy opus that takes the time to showcase the talents of each and every band member as it shifts gears over and over, every nuance just bleeding with emotion and grand musicianship. It's the perfect way to end something that most listeners will be begging for more of thirty minutes in. The album left me, in any case, ready to jump on anything that SACRED LEATHER releases from here on out. This is a great throwback album that hits home all the way through, and, much like that perfect glass of icy cold water, it leaves us thirsty for more.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Ultimate Force
2. Watcher
3. Power Thrust
4. Dream Searcher
5. Master Is Calling
6. Prowling Sinner
7. The Lost Destructor / Priest Of The Undoer
Dee Wrathchild - Vocals
JJ Highway – Guitars
Magnus LeGrand - Bass
Carloff Blitz - Guitars
Jailhouse – Drums
Record Label: Cruz Del Sur Music


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