SACRED OATH - FALLEN (Angel Thorne Music Company)
(Review by Stefan)
Everyone with a heart for Classic US Power Metal knows all about the debut album of Connecticut based Sacred Oath entitled “A Crystal Vision”, at least - that would still be the case! Formed by lead singer/guitarist Rob ‘Thorne’ Volpintesta back in 1984, this tremendous piece of purebred US Power Metal got a cult classic status as it should be actually! Available as CD, vinyl and cassette through Mercenary/Celluloid Records, a collaboration of short duration due to the bankruptcy of both labels. Very sadly situation for Sacred Oath because they were really good in the field of US Power Metal, even one of my personal faves. The break between band and label has led to the end of Sacred Oath in 1988.
American label Sentinel Steel Records reissued this great classic one in 2001, after the ‘Oathbangers’ were back in business. Able and willing to re-record all of the songs, “A Crystal Vision” got a new and actually appropriate title “A Crystal Revision”, a reborn classic that saw daylight in 2005. This new start for Sacred Oath did not go on unnoticed, more albums were created such as “Darkness Visible” (2007), the live album “Till Death Do Us Part” (2008) recorded during their Europe Tour featuring new bassist Scott Wait and axeman Billy Smith. Along with the new line-up, Sacred Oath released its fifth, self titled album in 2009 featuring their first single ever ‘Counting Zeros’.
For the follow up entitled “World On Fire” they were forced to hunt for a new bassist which has been found by the name of Brendan Kelleher. Through Angel Thorne Music Company, the album was released back in 2010, and in full glory… a great answer to all my US Metal desires! Before speakingabout theirbrand newalbumI first want toemphasizeonce againmysincere respectfor someone likeRob Thorne. This great musician never give up the fight due to his everlasting faith in US Power Metal. According to myself, the band debuted with the unbeatable “A Crystal Vison” effort but all the other creations were damn good as well. Without these, my collection of US Metal highlights won’t be complete!
To celebrate Sacred Oath’s 25 years of existence, the original “A Crystal Vision” line-up teamed up again for a brandnew effort that got the title “Fallen”. Well, this feels like a magical moment to me… those players that made me go wild and crazy back in the early 80s are back in business, side by side like true brothers of Metal… awesome! As we are used from the band, “Fallen” sounds dark as the blackness of the night, Sacred Oath has been reunited and back in full force to spoil us, US Metal maniacs with a good taste.
Outstandingly mastered/produced by the master himself Rob Thorne and a beautiful looking artwork (by Jason Beam), first song ‘King Of Your World’ give me immediatedly moments of pure exciment because of the way the guitars roar in the beginning. Well structered song and immediatedly a first warning of what is to come. Sacred Oath’s sixth album goes on in style with ‘The Way Of All Flesh’ where Classic US Metal elements are occasionnaly mixed up with a contemporary vibe. Getting older makes it for some singers hard labour to manage the high pitched vocals but for Sacred Oath’s frontman Rob Thorne, there are no issues audible. In a smooth way he still proves to be a very good singer. ‘Get Your Wings’ brings US Power Metal as it should be, high and mighty guitar riffs/leads and a good alternation in the vocal delivery keeps me alert. ‘Dream Death’ is definitely one of the highlights of this new Sacred Oath album. This one opens in a nice and easy, catchy mode but undergoas a true metamorphosis. Tempo’s be increased and oh my god, what a great battle between both guitar players… superb! ‘Snake Eyes’ can be watched at Youtube, you even got the opportunity to sing along… boost up the volume and let the beast go out.
Concerning the term ‘dark Power Metal’, check out the following tracks to get an answer to that: ‘Misery Loves Company’ and ‘Lurking Fear’ featuring rhythms in the vein of good old US Thrash Metal acts Intruder/Meliah Rage. Classical Instrumental ‘Aradia’ comes a bit unexpected, seems rather superfluous to me but what the hell, Sacred Oath once again offers me a really great time with the dark minded killer song ‘Death Knell’. They turn on the speed as they did way back in the good old days of “A Dark Vision” album, great vocals and breathtaking guitar works… another superb track! To conclude, the band delivers the titletrack again with a dark and sinister feel. Have to admit that this composition is unable to knock me outta control in a way most of the previous songs did.
Being honest myself, I have to tell that Sacred Oath’s new album ‘Fallen’ made a big impression on me. During my crusade through the musical scenery of US Metal since the early 80s, I declare wholeheartedly that this album got everything on board to please every worshipper of this fantastic gem called US Power Metal! Created by the original Sacred Oath guys themselves in a very mature and joyable way so without seeking excuses there will be no other way out than purchasing this brilliant album right on… here’s the address: http://sacredoath.net/ , facebookers have to use THIS spot. Nothing but respect for such a great band like Sacred Oath, delivering Metal as it should be during the last 25 years!
My Points: 95 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish