Label: Angel Throne Music
Connecticut power-thrashers Sacred Oath, back in 1985 their founding members Rob Thorne and Pete Altieri were daydreaming about rock-stardom as they washed dishes in a local burger joint. The singer/guitarist and bassist were both students at Bethel High School and had ambitions of recording landmark albums and touring the world with their unique brand of dark power and thrash metal heavily influenced by then-contemporary heroes Metallica and Mercyful Fate. They quickly set about recording their first demo “Sacred Oath” and it was an instant local success, selling hundreds of cassette copies in Connecticut record stores, and so on and so forth. Like so many others, the story of Sacred Oath is one filled with triumph and tragedy, but not many artists have been as prolific while remaining independent for so long. Sacred Oath has self-managed and self produced for almost 25 years without a traditional record contract or label support and yet has managed to survive the ups, downs, and numerous obstacles of the industry in the internet-age. And they’ve done it all through their commitment to producing quality metal music, always. Now, they’re putting out their best album yet. With last full length reference being 2017’s “Twelve Bells” the dragon returns to vow their new Oath of massacre’s continuance. “Return of the Dragon”, is Sacred Oath’s career synopsis within 10 tracks. Each and every one of them is filled with powerful emotion and musicianship in a thunderous aural assault. “Cthulhu Wakes” with the band flexing their power metal prowess. Stunning guitar solos and soaring vocal lines from Rob Thorne. “Hammer of an Angry God” is full of open power chord progressions; rock and roll at its finest. Bill Smith does a great work on guitar parts, while in “Root of all Evil” – album’s power ballad- , sliding is stunning. While there is an old-school approach to recording, remind us band’s 80’s roots, the production overall for me should have taken the safe path, namely being more rough cut in a way. Though, this modern age of digital production is sadly all too common in metal music these days, and it’s more than evident here too. Bass is very subtle too. Overall, we’ve got a great mixture of power and thrash metal that embodies one another harmonically. Given Sacred Oath’s promising history I was expecting a more metal thrashing mad comeback. Compositions though are interesting enough to hold you on the record. Pleasant full length, but check out their back catalog anyway. Recommended for fans of power and thrash metal.