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Review: Sacred Rite - Rites of Passage Volume 1
Sacred Rite
Rites of Passage Volume 1

Label: Sentinel Steel Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 65:38
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: November 23, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Rites of Passage Volume 1

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)

You always know two things about any Sentinel Steel reissue: It will be packed with every extra Denis could lay hands on, and it will be cool. Sacred Rite are (or were) a NWOBHM-era band from Hawaii of all places whom I had never even heard of, but they are worth checking out.

These guys were compared to Maiden so much it was almost funny, so that gives you a pretty good idea of what they sound like. This is midpaced, old-school heavy metal with cool riffs, twin-guitar harmonies, and strong, clear vocals that don't rely on wailing. The best song here is the opener "Wings Of Pegasus" which has a great chorus and some excellent riffs, but all of the six "main" songs here are cool. It all sounds charmingly retro because it is – this was recorded in 1984 after all. It's hard to find things to talk about when a band is just a metal band – no gimmick, nothing weird – they just play cool metal the old-fashioned way.

My only caveat with this CD is that there is not a lot of "Meat" on it. There are 13 tracks here, but only 6 are real studio cuts. The rest is made up of 4 live tracks (2 of which duplicate studio tracks) and 3 recordings from an earlier demo when the band was known as Sabre. (2 of these tracks are also duplicates of songs from earlier in the CD.) So there is a lot of overlap. Now I suppose if you are a big fan of live cuts you might like that, but I'm really not, so that may just be me. Still, the disc is essentially half bonus material. Which is great if you are a manic fan of this band, but if like me you never heard of them before it's a little much. It's a good thing the first half of the disc is so strong.

This is a Sentinel Steel release, so the packaging is superlative. A 16 page booklet with band pics, lyrics, liner notes, a band history and cover art front and back. I do find it a little silly that lyrics are listed individually for each song, even the songs that appear more than once. So the lyrics for "The Blade" for example are printed twice in their entirety, despite the fact that the two versions are identical.

This is a worthy CD to add to your collection if you are a fan of early 80's metal. I can't see why these guys didn't make more waves back in the day, as they were obviously as good or better than a lot of bands that are still with us. A quality reissue of a forgotten band. Recommended to fans of the genre.

Additional Information

Originally released in 1984

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