Veteran doom metal band The Obsessed return with their first album in over 20 years. I think it’s fair to say there’s a lot of expectation riding on this in certain quarters.
This is thoroughly old-school in execution and delivery. The songs show a good mix of heavy metal, doom metal, blues rock, and hard rock. This makes for a relatively diverse release that takes in various different moods, feelings, themes, and paces across its playing time. Sacred takes the listener on a journey down the years, with honest and authentic music showing you all of the sights that the band want to show off.
The singer’s classic, warm voice is rightly hailed as quite genre-defining after all he has done in doom metal over the decades. He’s on fine form on Sacred, giving a first-rate performance on pretty much every song.
The songs are well-written and demonstrate just why the high expectations heaped upon this album were justified. The diversity and quality on Sacred is great to hear, and each song has its own merits and strengths to sell itself. I like that this isn’t a completely immediate album, either. On first listen it certainly makes an impression, but it’s only after multiple spins that it seems to truly come alive.
Having said that – holy Hell there are some good riffs on this release! Some of them just seem to jump out of the speakers and grab you by whatever’s available, forcing you to pay attention. Obviously these are the more immediate ones, but there are also others that seem to worm their way into your brain over time that are equally as engaging.
The Obsessed have returned in an impressive manner with a very strong collection of songs, and Sacred is a very satisfying listen. You can almost feel the history that went into this release, feeding the songs with decades of experience and promise. It’s paid off well; Sacred is better than I imagined it would be, and is already shaping up to be one of the hottest albums gracing my playlists.
Very highly recommended.