It is commonly discussed that in recent years we are dealing with a difficulty in producing new quality music. Of course, there are exceptions reviving our spirits, exceptions that for the most part come from the deep underground.
I have the impression that it is tremendously difficult nowadays to be moved by a new release. The flow of information is torrential, there’s mass production of records of immense numbers of bands, so the time you’ll dedicate to each one of them has been equally immensely shrinked, we’ve also lost physical contact with the albums, so the actual friction with a band is minimized, inspiration many times is missing and so on. And what can you write? What hasn’t been already composed? What genres should you mix to deliver something new? What instruments can you add to the compositions to sound unusual? It’s difficult, I get it. It requires a special kind of intelligence and ingenuity, but also cunning thinking, to write something that is qualitatively good and kinda ‘catchy’ (tacky wording, but you get the meaning) and to succeed in making people outside your close social cycle interested in your music.
A second plague of the modern age is the deliberate revival of genres that characterized previous eras. I’m not saying that producing music to evoke glorious moments of the past or to sound old school and retro is reprehensible. However, lacking spirit, passion or composing something just to fit in, is. Paying tribute to the genre that nurtured you and formed your tastes and your overall human behavior is naturally reasonable, to say the least. Suffice you do it from your heart, with character and with the potential of leaving your own mark to the music industry.
Since what I’m talking about has already been issued by more serious and intelligent people than me, I shall get more specific. A band that has managed to raise the interest of many devotees of the Heavy / Speed community, which has filtered their influences and composed pieces with character and passion, a band that took the reins of the old and gave a new, fresh breath, a new special boost to this genre, is Sacral Rage. We met them with “Promo 2012”, in which just two tracks were included. Fortunately, in February 2013 the band released “Deadly Bits of Iron Fragments”, for which we’re having this whole conversation, or rather mini rant.
Since for some peculiar reason nothing has been written about this release and also since Sacral Rage will be visiting Thessaloniki for a special show with Dead Congregation and The Temple, I decided to henpeck you.
As I said, “Deadly Bits of Iron Fragments” was released on February 23, 2013 via company Eat Metal Records and agitated the waters of the underground almost immediately. The album includes seven tracks lasting a total of 30 minutes, which, although characterized by a retro mood and with an 80s air gushing from proudly every note, it simultaneously blows a wind of fresh air. This ‘modern’ twist in all of the compositions is the cause why this record immediately magnetized our interest. What we have in “Deadly Bits” is basically a hodgepodge of allied musical expressions of Heavy Metal music, given through a contemporary prism. The range of musical elements included in this release satisfies many, as you can find classic Manilla Road-ish Heavy Metal, speed and high pitched Agent Steel-ly Speed Metal vocals, a Nasty Savage kind of badassery (to whom the band paid their respects by covering “Gladiator”), a Voivod-ish middle era technique, Watchtower’s compositional complexity, Helstar Power metal, Heavy / Power outbursts similar to Hades and so on. But here comes what I said above. Even though Sacral Rage have a huge base of influences, nonetheless the pieces offered in “Deadly Bits” (let alone the next “Illusions in Infinite Void” of 2015) are… Sacral Rage! They have character, personality, they have that different element you’ve been searching for to escape from the music routine. They click with you. Instantly. “Deadly Bits of Iron Fragments” is extremely well written and inspired. Should I talk about the vocal lines, guitar, bass and drums separately? Should I talk about melody? The fact that it’s impossible for the band to hide their passion? From the dedication they show towards the genre they serve? It would be funny to mention something less than “everything’s perfect”.
If I keep taking about this record the way I do, we’ll lose the point and probably some dickhead will say that Sacral Rage offered me money and drugs to extol and glorify this release. Well, that’s not the case. Those of you who can and want to spent their Saturday night the best way they possibly can, you should attend one of the most dangerous shows of this year. Sacral Rage will be performing alongside Dead Congregation and The Temple on March 25th at Eightball Live Stage. Don’t you dare miss it.
Listen to “Deadly Bits of Iron Fragments” here: