Sacral-RageSacral Rage (from Greece) play a style of US metal popular in the mid to late 80’s. But rather than being one dimensional towards that era, there is a touch of progressive, a touch of thrash, a whole lot of metal basically making this a very well-oiled machine and an album that can turns heads with the greatest of ease. The influences I hear on this release range from the music and some arrangements of King Diamond, with Andy LaRocque’s haunting and choppy guitar techniques (check out ‘Into Mental East’) to the power thrash/metal of early Sanctuary and countless other bands. The magic of Sacral Rage is the presentation, it is fresh, powerful and the album continues this way throughout, a continuation from their debut ‘Deadly Bits of Iron Fragments’ which was a cool effort in itself. Moving on from that debut, the production has really been enhanced and worked upon, each instrument, each note, riff and time change is clearly audible.

There is some savage solo work towards the end of ‘Lost Chapter E: Sutratma’ that really makes you smile and rock out, this is pretty special. Then you have other tracks like ‘En Cima Del Mal’ that are a real refreshing change from the major retro metal that is occurring of late as this sounds natural. I know this isn’t strictly a new style but Sacral Rage do not make it so obvious, it’s their own craft born out of some classic influences. ‘Waltz in Madness’ is a monster juggernaut, it’s much thrashier, punchy and precise both in tempo and the staccato nature of the guitar playing. ‘Panic in Urals (Burning Skies)’ is another tune that I can thoroughly recommend. This has a galloping rhythm guitar style like that of say Powerlord even the early Hexx, although most will say Maiden for ease of reference I suppose.

You get the picture I think. The only downside I’ve found is the wasted 7 to 8 minutes of silence at the end of the final track which is not over 14 minutes long. It’s one of those end of album annoyances that doesn’t actually achieve anything when you hear what comes after the long silent wait.

With the bands mystical and futuristic lyrical approach you can gain a real sense of dark fantasy. Add to this the real range of power of both the music and the immense vocal range of singer Dimitris K. Then finally add the artwork to the package, this is a real metal album, it’s made me think that there are other releases that are respected highly that are in fact lessor than this one, which is criminal when I think about it! So if you like this sub-genre, then this is the US metal inspired album you should own without a doubt.

(9/10 Paul Maddison)