A Modern Metal Bunch coming from Northampton England, that sounds like a good homogenous blend of 5FDP meets ALTER BRIDGE meets MEGADETH with some eternal British Steel elements and finally to complete the seasoning, catchy hooks more hooks than the usual. The whole perfectly produced and heavily promoted by EMI's sub label Transcend Music, so you think all is said and done by now. Not exactly this band is no fashion / and the guys are dead serious about their music but, the big difference between the legions of generic melodic Metalcore bands out here and SACRED MOTHER TONGUE occurs for the first time at 3'18" in the well-named opening track “Demon”…And this demon is a down tuned six strings Monster coming all the way from Hell and ready to rule the Earth, incarnated under the human name of Andy James (author of numerous instructional guitar DVD and a few impressive solo albums too). Na, seriously, this guy is possessed wizard and carries enough talent to be put to the question by an evangelist inquisitional Priest
It’s indeed an absolute diabolic asset as Mr. James is a virtuosic hyper skilled guitarist that help to lift up the band to another level; evolving in the same league of contemporary super shredders as coetaneous fellows Jeff Loomis / Christian Muenzner / Chris Broderick or Paul Wardingham, his chops are amazing but he is a real team player, able to disappear under a barrage of massive riffage (”Pawn”) in order to create enough room to improve the light on the songwriting itself , and to give more focus on the numerous vocal melodies of Darrin South (“Bleeding Out”).
No incoherent shredding here, his interventions are short and concise but very inspired (“Bird In Hand”), with songs like ”The City Is Crying” or the single “A Light Will Shine” his hi-tech playing fills takes some more space but the balance between the melodic themes and the solo breaks is always equitable, but Andy James can also provide some straight ultra-efficient and sharp riffs out the new/old TESTAMENT songbook (the ultra-solid “Seven”), and keeping a discreet profile but obviously at a moment or at the other his lava's licks will erupt brilliantly for our biggest ear pleasure, but without killing the flow and the unity of the track (“Just A Ride”).
As an example: the opening riff for “Evolve / Becoming” is simple but amazingly effective and the song quickly evolves in a great number, full of melodious arrangements before bursting into a challenging solo spot filled with fast picking frenzy, full of fluidity, the combination between the heaviness and the smart power chorus, with the little overdriving sweeping sweetness climax in the middle is terribly addictive.
For the final song “Believe”, SACRED MOTHER TONGUE even manage to be very quiet in the guitar solo department, and to keep a strong concentration to the introspective lyrical side of their music with an unbelievable reliance but with such a bunch of authentic amazing musicians in its rank, it’s quite easy to be confident. With a spot in the bill for the next Download festival and with such a great second album as “Out Of The Darkness” to promote, in fact the future is bright for S.M.T.
1. Demons 2. Bird In Hand 3. Seven 4. Pawn 5. Bleeding Out 6. A Light Will Shine 7. The City Is Crying 8. Just A Ride 9. Evolve / Become 10. Believe
Lee Newell – Drums Josh Gurner – Bass Guitar Darrin South – Vocals Andy James – Lead Guitar