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Sacred Steel - Heavy Metal Sacrifice

Sacred Steel
Heavy Metal Sacrifice
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 12 November 2016, 10:36 AM

SACRED STEEL’s newest album, “Heavy Metal Sacrifice,” starts with yet another obligatory intro.  It is serviceable but nothing special.  Once the second, and title track, song hits then it becomes…well, serviceable but nothing special.  Power Metal seems to be a love it or hate it genre; while it evokes all that is fun about the more traditional side of metal, it also is also often times too cheesy for its own good.  That sentence is exactly how I would describe this album.  SACRED STEEL certainly isn’t a bad band; they do play fast, heavy, and proud with undeniably great energy.  Unfortunately, their sound presents the usually presents bare minimum of which a power metal band can operate.  Speedy riffs, crunchy mid sections, falsetto vocals, cheesy lyrics, over use of double bass…it’s all here and it plays out like the band purposely made sure to check off every section from a Power Metal “to-do” list.  There just isn’t a lot here to blow your mind; after listening to this album you are not going to remember anything about it other than a few high lights in a couple of the songs.

This makes for a good one time listen or background music while you play Skyrim but it is poor for repeat listens.  There are some surprising moments that I wish they had fleshed out more.  About four minutes or so into the title track, the band suddenly slows down to a crawl with clean, melodic guitar plunking and somewhat tolerable regular vocals.  This type of break in the bands speed attack might sound out of place but it really gives the album an extra layer and breaks up the monotony of it all. Another stand out moment is “The Dead Walk The Earth”; it starts out with a thick, slow riff that gives the song an ominous doom sound.  The simple but effective mid paced riffs during the chorus also shine but unfortunately the rest of the song falls into the “lets play a thousand miles an hour and do nothing else” sound that just sounds too familiar and that’s because you have heard it a thousand time before.

The melodic mid section of “Vulture Priest” is also extremely awesome; it sort of sounds like IRON MAIDEN or JAG PANZER and then slides into a really good groove that leads into a melodic solo.  If the album had sounded more like this song, I could see it having more of an impact. The album would be immensely better if the vocals were tighter.  Gerrit isn’t a bad singer per say but he lacks the range of other power metal stars like Tyrant from LABYRINTH or the theatrics of BLIND GUARDIAN’S Hansi.  All in all, the band and their latest album isn’t terrible by any means.  However, it isn’t going to blow you away or stick with you for too long unless you just happen to be a really, really hardcore fan of the band. It’s just too even with mediocre moments peppered by potential greatness.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

5/10

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro (Glory Ride)
2. Heavy Metal Sacrifice
3. The Sign Of The Skull
4. Hail The Godz Of War
5. Vulture Priest
6. Children Of The Sky
7. Let There Be Steel
8. Chaos Unleashed
9. The Dead Walk The Earth
10. Beyond The Gates Of Nineveh
11. Iron Donkey
Lineup:
Jonas – Guitars
Mathias – Drums
Gerrit – Vocals
Jens – Guitar
Kai - Bass
Record Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
     


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