1. System Failure (Intro)
4. No Promise Of Tomorrow
5. The Return
6. The Path To Righteousness
7. In Heaven
8. I Concede
12. Love And Hope (Instrumental)
14. Slay The Wicked
15. Time (Instrumental)
Earlier this year I’ve finally been knocked down by all the releases of hardcore/metalcore/deathcore/emocore/whatevercore the last of couple years. I’ve been quite sickened for much of a lack in musical creativity and/or spiritual lyrics. I know not everyone likes The Gospel beaten into their skull, for how many times can you do it before it becomes cliche? I honestly don’t think that could ever happen because The Gospel leads mankind to repentance and salvation; besides hardly any “christian bands” or “christians in a band” are doing it anyway. Sometimes I need to be preached to and/or edified because I see the wickedness that’s around me and it brings me down at times. I’ve never had a problem with being reminded of why God loves us and what his Son did on the cross for us. I applaud artists that will stand up for The Gospel on a recording and/or at their live shows.
The Sacrificed is an exception to the rule even though their message is mostly focused on redemption. There is also no core here whatsoever, nor screaming, death growling, or black shrieking. This is classic metal and heavy metal with power tendencies here and there. Lead vocalist Eli Prinsen sounds like he was time warped from another era that’s quickly fading beyond my 27 year-old memory and guitarist Johnny Bowden shreds a past sound while still feeling very modern. Jay Williams rounds out this 3-piece with superb drumming.
Lyrically the overall theme is about the year 2012. All the false prophet predictions leading to Christ coming back, or the world ending on December 31st has become more and more prevalent as it becomes exceedingly closer. Man has always been about himself and how he can get others to glorify him and so many are perverting what just happens to be the last day of a calendar.
After an opening intro things start off in high gear with “2012.” A gong with news headlines start out followed by off and on double bass and a sweet guitar solo toward the end of an amazing opener. It tracks back and forth between power, heavy, and classic metal. Some lyrics include
Jesus warned about – false prophets – and their evil schemes
Nostradamus qualtrains – Bible code matrices
Nuclear war as the planets align – A polar shift as the mother ship arrives
The Mayan calendar reaches its end – as a comet slams the world into extinction
“Freedom” comes in next with a nod to 90s alternative but louder and heavier. It’s very melodic in nature and another sweet guitar solo comes in toward the end. There’s even narration by Kennedy and Reagan which goes in hand with Eli’s high pipes.
“No Promise Of Tomorrow” brings it all. It’s loud and heavy, sometimes its fast, other times melodic with not one but two guitar solos. It brings chilling synths at the 1:22 mark. Some lyrics include
The last day I’d ever see
Wish somehow I could have seen this coming
Never saw the light turn red
Died so fast I can’t believe I’m dead
Out of time my life is spent
Blackout without time to repent
This album just does not let up. “The Return” keeps things rolling along with a guitar solo at the beginning with guitar shredding throughout. All the lyrics are from Revelation 19:11-21. I can’t believe how spot on the music is with the lyrics. This is my favorite track on the album.
“The Path To Righteousness” slows things down a sliver into a more straight forward rocker. I really liked the guitar playing that lends a nod to the 80s.
“In Heaven” rolls this amazing album along with drumming that is more straightforward as well as the guitar signatures. It has lyrics that will make you long for that moment once you are in heaven.
Walking on the streets of gold listening to the stories told
ancestors all the way back to Adam
Firsthand accounts of the past, answers to all questions
asked and forever to learn
No sun needed for light our God is shining bright
One day a thousand years no more pain and no more tears
You couldn’t have a classic metal album without a ballad now could you? With “I Concede” this band does just that. It’s mostly acoustic guitar with the bass and drums coming in around the halfway mark. The electric guitar does come in toward the end of the song that finishes a fantastic ballad.
“Victorious” picks the pace up with a mid speed rocker. The soaring back up chorus accompanied with Eli’s lead vocals, creates a euphoric treat. Some lyrics include
But of this hour and day no man knows
Nor the Son nor the angels
Take up your cross my friend
Along with me and we will follow him
What I say unto you I say unto all watch!
Until a shout’s heard around the world
In the voice of the archangel
For all of those who’ve fought the fight
Battled temptation and persevered to follow Christ
Your time has come
“Father” is a short piece that acts as a prayer that goes into the next track. It’s very calm with light guitar, symphonic keys and no drums. I think we can all relate in one way or another as it ends with Eli claiming
Father God, I’ve gone astray and I want to come home
Hold me in your loving arms and don’t ever let go
“Saved” is an up-beat melodic rocker with an enticing guitar solo and touches of symphonic keys. Eli brings it home at the end as he sings
Free for me what it cost
Jesus paid the price up on the cross
Can’t wait until I see – heaven’s gates opened for me
No longer lost, I’m found. I am saved
“Love And Hope” brings another break into the action, this time with no lyrics. It’s a decent instrumental with only acoustic guitar playing.
“Believe” picks the pace back up as a more modern hard rocker. The guitar playing really shines throughout and lends quite a bit of melody.
“Slay The Wicked” is a cover of the Deliverance classic. It stays true to the original with its guitar shredding, soloing, and double bass throughout. This was a power metal anthem back in the day and The Sacrificed resurrected it 20 years later. This is the explanation point for a classic album for a classic genre of metal.
“Time” closes out the album as a 50 second guitar and keys instrumental outro.
Overall: Sometimes you buy an album because it’s on sale taking a chance on getting some enjoyment out of it. This just happened to be the case with this album. I didn’t know that it was going to be outstanding when I first purchased it but now I’m glad I took that chance. I encourage all music lovers to check this album out, especially if you are a fan of classic metal, power metal, heavy metal, melodic metal, and hard rock. This is my 2010 album of the year!