|Review: The Obsessed - Sacred|
Label: Relapse Records
Year released: 2017
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: July 8, 2017
Reviewed by: Omni
Rated 2.8/5 (56%) (5 Votes)
Originally founded in 1976 under the name Warhorse, The Obsessed has been the on-again, off-again project of Scott "Wino" Weinrich in between his stints in Saint Vitus and countless other projects. Sacred is the band's fourth studio album, coming 23 years after their previous full-length release in 1994. This iteration of The Obsessed was born out of Wino's Spirit Caravan project, and this album sees him joined by bassist Dave Sherman and drummer Brian Constantino.
Where earlier albums by the band featured influences from stoner rock and a decidedly 1990s production style, this album has much more of a modern rock sound and production to match. This works both for and against the songs on the album. "Punk Crusher" and the title track are mean slabs of bluesy doom metal with a slick new sound that gives the band a serious shot at a legitimate crossover hit. "Razor Wire" is less successful, and I find myself wondering what Wino was thinking with the processed vocals on this song. The cover of Thin Lizzy's "It's Only Money" seems quite at home on this album and the new version of "Sodden Jackal" is another strong track, even though I find it inferior to the original version of the song. I know that bands change over time, but I'm seriously beginning to question the number of older bands that are starting to add modern influences to their music. This album is a bit lacking in emotion and compositional depth in comparison to The Lunar Womb.
If you like The Obsessed and Wino's various other projects, odds are that you will also enjoy this album. Just temper your expectations, as this is closer to the sound of Spirit Caravan than earlier albums released by The Obsessed. This is a solid album with a few songs that I'll probably occasionally return to, but it lacks some of the staying power of the band's earlier classics. If you're okay with a digital download, the deluxe version of the album also includes another original song and a cool cover version of Mountain's "Crossroader Blues" as bonus tracks.
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