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Sacred Oath - …’Till Death Do Us Part

Label: Angel Thorne Music
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Kevin Alba

While many young new bands are popping up throughout the metal scene paying homage to the old school metal of the 80’s, there seem to be just as many bands who are actually from the 80’s dusting themselves off after a many year hiatus to fight on the front lines for METAL. These bands include the likes of Attacker, Steel Assassin, Deadly Blessing, and Overlorde. Sacred Oath are one of these bands as well and they are out for blood. Sacred Oath released their now legendary debut album “A Crystal Vision” in 1987 and went on hiatus in December 1988 when Mercenary Records folded, and didn't play together again until re-entering the studio in 1998 to record "A Crystal Revision" with the help of Sentinel Steel Records.
Fans would have to wait for new material again as the band recorded their next album “Darkness Visible” in 2005 which would not see an American release until 2007. The band is now fully functional again and playing live whenever possible.

In the fall of 2007 Sacred Oath co-headlined Germany’s Keep It True festival and it is that appearance that brings us this absolutely amazing live album …”Till Death Do Us Part”. I do not throw around words like “absolutely amazing” loosely but that is truly how I feel about this album as it captures their true metal sound in such a crystal clear way. These days there is a lot of controversy surrounding bands who release live albums as some are accused of going back in the studio and touching things up before releasing it for the world to hear. I can honestly say that this album is without a doubt the real deal as I recently saw Sacred Oath perform live in New Jersey with Attacker, Steel Assassin, and Faith Factor and their live set just blew me away sounding just the way it does on this album.

The band plays extremely tight 80’s styled American power metal with at times a thrashy arrangement thrown in for good measure. The twin guitar harmonies displayed by vocalist Rob Thorne and guitarist Bill Smith will have you recalling the classic sounds of Iron Maiden and Mercyful Fate. The songs on this live album are a perfect blend of old and new with crowd favorites appearing to be “The Ferryman’s Lair” and “Rising From The Grave”. It is truly a shame that this band did not take off back in the 80’s and I would have loved to have an extensive back catalog from them. Their music impresses me that much.

Hopefully, it may not be too late for this band to achieve some more success because while the majority of the younger power metal crowd are loving bands like Nightwish, Kamelot, and Sonata Arctica, just as many are beginning to discover and support bands like Helloween and Blind Guardian who were getting their start around the same time as Sacred Oath.

I hope more of today’s younger metal scene does their homework and discovers great bands like Sacred Oath because as much as I enjoy the intimate small gathering at Dingbats bar, I would love to see a band like this tear it up live in front of hundreds to maybe a thousand fans a night like they do to these loyal true metal German warriors on this live disc.

While I like the bands mentioned above who have been reactivated in the last couple years, I feel that Sacred Oath are the superior band and stand out above them all. This is impressive stuff and I hold it in the same category of some of metal’s best live albums which include Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death” and Judas Priest’s “Unleashed In The East”. I will be listening to …”Till Death Do Us Part” for years to come.
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