Song of the Day: Sacred Warrior - Sword of Victory

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Everyone has their gateway. That first band or artist that got them into a particular style of music. I got into Christian rock in 1988, first hearing and enjoying artists like Petra and Russ Taff, and then quickly moving on to Jerusalem and Whitecross. But this band right here–Sacred Warrior–was my gateway to true Heavy Metal with a capital HM. They had no pop songs, no sleazy hooks or glammed-out looks, but their debut album Rebellion was full of heavy riffs, melodic (but not glam) vocals, and super-heavy and dark chord progressions.

I suppose that “He Died,” their power ballad about the death of Jesus, was what first grabbed my teenage ears (I must have been 14 or 15 the first time I heard them). So I picked up the cassette in my local Christian bookstore (anyone remember those?) and I listened to it over and over and over. In fact, it was my running partner in high school, as I listened to it in my Walkman while training in my long distance sessions for track and cross-country.

And what did my ears hear but exceptionally musical and devastatingly heavy metal! Just listen to the riffs and the intricate arrangements of “Sword of Victory!” Sometimes artists were nostalgic about lose that ‘wow factor’ years later. Someone will say, ‘that band/album hasn’t aged well.’ If anything, I’ve come to appreciate this band even more over the years. Their four albums from the classic era have all aged incredibly well, and the band reunited in 2013 to release a fifth album to the delight of fans.

Lyrically the band have breached a number of topics from religious hypocrisy, to outright praise-and-worship (heavy metal style!) to social issues. “Sword of Victory” urges listeners to remember that no matter how bad things may get, in the end followers of Jesus come out on the winning side.

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July 21, 2023 12:02 pm

I’m with you man, this song and album was monumental in the days of my youth. I first bought it on cassette and was thoroughly blown away. The next album, “Master’s Command” was even better. Good times!

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