The Obsessed - Sacred review
|Release date:||April 2017|
01. Sodden Jackal
02. Punk Crusher
05. Perseverance Of Futility
06. It's Only Money [Thin Lizzy cover]
07. Cold Blood
08. Stranger Things
09. Razor Wire
10. My Daughter My Son
11. Be The Night
13. On So Long [bonus]
14. Crossroader Blues [bonus]
The Obsessed's first album in 23 years is also the first in the band's discography that I feel any desire to continue listening to, but at the same time Sacred confirms to me that The Obsessed just isn't my kind of doom. The Obsessed have always stuck fairly close to the blues rock roots of doom, sometimes cutting back from metal altogether, but more than that I find even their most straightforwardly heavy material sterile and lackluster. Sacred surpasses its predecessors in terms of delivery, which right away puts it a step above.
About half of Sacred exudes a creditable doomy attitude, becoming an album that reeks of death by design and not merely the result of stumbling into a few Black Sabbath riffs while plumbing the depths of hard rock. The opener, "Sodden Jackal," trudges along resolutely with guitars so deep and distorted that it almost sounds like another band; even after picking up the pace, the riffs whine in pain a la Sabbath Bloody Sabbath such that the song loses none of its menace. The title track's occultish riffs and the pure old-school heaviness of "Cold Blood," the album's instrumental high water mark, show off some of the most interesting work The Obsessed has yet produced, and if the entirety of Sacred had been this driving, crunchy, and groove-heavy, I'd be on my way to proclaiming it doom album of the year.
The other half of the album, however, follows The Obsessed's familiar approach much more closely. Already by the second song the hulking, bass-heavy fuzz that "Sodden Jackal" promised fades into a faster, lighter, rock'n'roll song that, but for the brief interspersions of double bass and tremolo picking, could belong to Ted Nugent. The cover of Thin Lizzy's "It's Only Money," apart from sounding a bit too geriatric for me, doesn't really fit the mood of the album; the last couple of tracks, "My Daughter My Sons" and "Be The Night," have very little meat to them. Overall, I do consider Sacred to have the strongest songwriting of any The Obsessed album, and even if some of these songs sound too rock'n'roll to me, I can't say any worse than that I don't value those traits in doom; they're still easy enough to sit through and pretty short anyway.
The opening drudgery of the perfectly-entitled "Sodden Jackal" and those sweet, sweet licks in "Cold Blood" are just too memorable to keep me away from Sacred forever, and there are enough solid numbers like "Stranger Things" and the title track that I'll be tempted into running through the whole thing again from time to time. The worst thing I can say about Sacred is that it's a listenable album written and played in a style somewhat outside my tastes; old fans of The Obsessed should have plenty of reason to hail the band's long-awaited return, and I'm sure the album has a good amount of crossover appeal.
||Written on 29.05.2017 by|
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