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Sacred Oath: Sacred Oath

Sacred Oath's new self-titled album is a truly monstrous shot of metal warfare, marching out of the speakers with aplomb and carrying an arsenal of demonic guitar riffing and testicle-clamping falsetto that any metal fan can truly appreciate. Yes indeed, these fourteen tracks are what you'd call heavy. They are fist pumping, no-nonsense anthems that re-establish the band as a viable act within the metal community. Sacred Oath goes for the throat, eschewing any form of subtlety, declaring loudly to its devoted fan base of Oathbangers that they're back with a vengeance. Making an active return to heavy metal's playing field (or battlefield, shall we say) can be a daunting task, but the Oath actually began walking the path in 2005 when lead vocalist/guitarist/producer/mastermind Rob Thorne slowly resurrected his group from the ashes, bringing along original drummer Kenny Evans for the ride. After re-recording the band's 1985 cult classic A Crystal Vision and releasing 2007's comeback album Darkness Visible to some critical fanfare, Rob and Kenny brought aboard newcomers Bill Smith on guitar and Scott Waite on bass to round out a permanent lineup and begin work on what they hoped would be their most explosive work yet. They certainly delivered! Sacred Oath is an album built upon one principle… intensity. Whether it's Thorne himself channeling a young Rob Halford, screeching from one song to the next, or the band's propulsive musicality that harkens back to early Metallica/Megadeth, this record is mighty sounding in its production and relentless in its delivery. In fact, by the fourteenth (and final) track it almost feels a bit longwinded and maybe a couple songs too long, as if the guys weren't content stripping away any of the fat that goes along with the main course. For some metalheads this won't be a problem, because more songs means more divine moments of metal horns being thrust into the air, but for others, the whole album might seem a tad bloated. It all depends on the individual, and you can't fault Sacred Oath for wanting to give their fans more bang for the buck.

Musical highlights include the chugging "Blood Storm," the menacing gallop of "Hunt for the Fallen Angel," the slow but powerful crunch of "Counting Zeros," and the impressive screech and wallop of "Sacred Oath." How's this for an observation? The band Sacred Oath has a song called "Sacred Oath" from their self-titled album Sacred Oath. Talk about getting the most out of something. The guitar solos are all very tastefully done and executed with much skill and precision while the drumming is tight and controlled, featuring a lot of rolling double bass figures throughout the album. "Scourge of Sin" is a great showcase for the wonderful interplay between these two elements. Thorne's vocal range can be a little grating at times, but he sings with a passion and flair and will bring to mind early Geoff Tate, especially on the track "Voodoo Dolls."

In closing, Sacred Oath can best be described as a cross musically between Megadeth and Judas Priest, with vocal characteristics of early Queensryche. The album benefits from a clean production which helps bolster the material, giving the songs a nice sonic sheen. Some of the melodies aren't all that memorable and the album could've been trimmed down by a few songs, but there's still a lot to appreciate. Sacred Oath is the type of band whose sound recalls metal's more formative years, so if you like your metal delivered old school but with a more sophisticated production, then this album is for you.

Track Listing:
1. Paradise Lost
2. Blood Storm
3. Buried Alive
4. Voodoo Dolls
5. Counting Zeros
6. Caught In The Arc
7. Mistress Of The Setting Sun
8. High and Mighty
9. Wings Of Salvation
10. Order Of The System Lords
11. Sacred Oath
12. What The Dark Will Undo
13. Scourge Of Sin
14. Hunt For The Fallen Angel

Added: June 1st 2009
Reviewer: Keith Schwier
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4507
Language: english

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