Review SACRED OATH ‘Return of the Dragon’

Power- and thrash metal fans that dig deeper than usual might know Sacred Oath. The band from Connecticut is many years in business, and it was in 1985 when Rob Throne and Pete Altieri started to make a dream become true, forming an own band. Inspired by bands like Metallica and Mercyful Fate, the guys recorded a first demo tape ‘Sacred Oath’ rather quickly. A debut album followed in 1987 before a long hiatus started.

A first spark of reunion could be observed in 1998 and it took nearly another decade until the band returned with a next longplayer. Since 2005 and the ‘A Crystal Vision’ album, Sacred Oath became a constant deliverer of metal records. Over the year, the band unleashed eight records and number nine is waiting in line. Driven by the founding members Throne and Evans, Sacred Oath recorded a next longplayer called ‘Return of the Dragon’ which is a ten songs featuring album.

The starting point to this ten songs journey through metal is called ‘Cthulhu Wakes’ which is a multi-layered song that also includes a good melody. The song is a good start and a tune that is even better is the title track. With the piano, leading off the song, ‘Return of the Dragon’ evolves to a riff- dominated track with almost seven minutes of length. These longer tracks are the highlights on the album with ‘Primeval’ being another example of complexity meeting riff power.  

There are songs on the album that at least didn’t show their beauty to me. ‘Last Ride of the Wicked Dead’ is such a song. It feels like too much is happening, and the flow isn’t exactly what your ears are awaiting. There are certainly better tracks that found a place on this album, songs like the straight-forward ‘Hammer of the Angry God’.

Sacred Oath never made it to the big stages. This also means that the guys could stay away from any commercial influences and follow their own passion. The newest album is a next workpiece from the Connecticut-based quintet that lives by the beat of the metal heart. Horns up.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Cthulhu Wakes
  2. Last Ride of the Wicked Dead
  3. Return of the Dragon
  4. At the Gates
  5. Empires Fall
  6. Hammer of an Angry God
  7. The Next Pharaoh
  8. Primeval
  9. Into the Drink
  10. Root of All Evil

Label: Wormholedeath Records

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: November 19th, 2021

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