|Review: Sacred Steel - Slaughter Prophecy|
Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: December 30, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
I've been hearing mixed reviews of Sacred Steel for ages now. Everybody says they suck, but then the reviews of this album in particular are always good. This is the fourth and (as of now) most recent outing from these guys, and despite some issues, I like it a lot.
Sacred Steel play metal – heavy, upfront, and in your face. There are no keyboards here, no neoclassical wankery. Just a short intro and then Wham! The riffs crank up and never quit. The quality of the music here is really excellent, and every single song has good riffs. The production is really good and the band sounds huge and heavy. The only possible 'but' here are the vocals of Gerrit Mutz – sometimes referred to as 'the most hated vocalist in metal'. He has a rough similarity to John Cyris – In other words he sounds like he has a head cold. I actually don't think it's that he can't sing, I think his stylistic tendencies get in the way. His yelps and squeals on the first song will likely make you want to turn it off, but later on in the album he calms down and sings some pretty good vocal melodies in a more controlled voice – and he sounds OK. He's not great, never could be great, but from track 7 on he reins in the yelps and yammering and actually sings. When he stays in his midrange he sounds a good bit like King Diamond used to, and that sounds much better than the Sean Killian-style yelping of songs like "Rites Of Sacrifice" or "Pagan Heart". That said, even at his worst you can get used to him, and the songwriting here is strong enough to justify the effort.
There are some really cool songs here, mostly on the last half of the CD. "Lay Me To My Grave" and "Crush The Holy, Save The Damned" in particular stand out as excellent kick-ass metal tunes. As I said, riff-wise you just can't argue with this album, as every track has some killer shit going on.
This is a digipack, but a very cool one, with a satin finish cover and excellent art and design. The lyrics are cool too, no happy love-your-puppy crapola here, no sir. "Slaughter Prophecy" has its flaws in the vocal department, but you shouldn't let that make you miss some very cool, very heavy metal. If you like your metal melodic but heavy and mean, this is worth checking out.
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