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Review: Sacred Oath - Twelve Bells
Sacred Oath
Twelve Bells

Label: Angel Thorne Music
Year released: 2017
Duration: 1:00:36
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 2.25/5

Review online: July 22, 2017
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Readers Rating
Twelve Bells

Rated 2/5 (40%) (7 Votes)

I wasn't sure what to expect from the 8th studio album by Sacred Oath, a once-legendary band, because I only listened to their first album A Crystal Vision – which is awesome – and a couple of songs here and there ever since they came back in 2005. And boy, have they changed their sound.

Twelve Bells is so lackluster that the guitar sounds like the bass and the bass sounds like another bass getting in the way of the real bass. I could blame this on the production, but it becomes clear by the time we get to "Demon Ize" (If you manage to listen to it to this point, give yourself a pat on the back and go cry in the shower about the time you lost) that it's just the result of four guys in a midlife crisis trying too hard to rock. There are minimal sparks of creativity here, like some decent solos in the title track and in "Fighter's Heart", but the urgency to over-invent and create some sort of masterpiece hits a brick wall because of mediocre songwriting, too many changes of pace and underachieving melodies.

It's hard to comprehend what these guys were really trying to do. Rob Thorne's vocals are all over the place and the mix of groove and heaviness just doesn't work (and are even annoying at times, i.e. "Eat the Young"), while the hooks are inexistent and the verses often feel detached from the bridges and choruses. Add to that the poor mixing and the uninventive performances and we are graced with a chunky compilation of forgetful music.

Clearly, these dudes need to take some time out and review their strategy. For fuck's sake, when you have something like A Crystal Vision resting proudly on your shelf you can't expect anything less than to create something meaningful and at least fun to please your fan base; instead, Thorne and his companions delivered an underwhelming effort, at best. Give me my fucking hour back, Sacred Oath.

Other related information on the site
Review: A Crystal Vision (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Return of the Dragon (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Sacred Oath (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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