Sacrecy - s/t 4/5

Reviewed: 12-19-08





Tracklist:

1. Image of God
2. Devil's reign
3. Forgive
4. Hope from above
5. Anxious eyes
6. The shadow of me
7. The child within
8. The kiss of betrayal
9. Masquerade


A few months ago I reviewed the debut 'Labyrinth alpha' from a young power metal band from Finland, and now I've got the full-length 's/t' debut from another young power metal band from Finland, Sacrecy. With some of the well-established and popular power metal bands from Finland changing their style recently (Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, Dreamtale, etc.), I greatly welcome new bands like Epiclore and Sacrecy, and I'm positive there are many power metal fans who feel the same way.

Sacrecy was actually formed back in 2002, but it took them a few years to get going and they've gone through some line-up changes as well, both before and after the late-2007 release of this debut. While I'm a bit surprised that they've already gone through line-up changes, I'm even more surprised at how well done, mature and polished this debut is. Their style will appeal to many metal fans too, as they sit between the melodic power metal style of bands like Sonata Arctica, Thunderstone, Stratovarius, Nightscape, Saidian, Kotipelto and Supreme Majesty, and the progressive power metal style of Kamelot, Vanishing Point, Dream Steel, Serenity and even Destination's Calling. Let me guess, I have your attention?

Sacrecy is fronted by Panu Siik (who is also one of the guitarists), whose voice is crystal clear and very typical of a power metal vocalist from Finland. Blunty, this guy really emanates what music is all about, as his performance is passionate, truly sensational, and he really demands your attention. Actually, please humor me for a second by thinking of some of Tony Kakko's (Sonata Arctica) performances during some of the slower (and classic) songs from 'Ecliptica' and 'Silence'. With that in mind, know that Panu has captured the same magical feeling and it's very hard to listen to this CD and not think of the special time when Sonata Arctica entered the metal world.

The CD only has 9 tracks, but some of them are long, so the CD is of normal running-time. For starters, the opener "Image of God" is nearly 8 minutes and it's fantastic too, as it starts out fast in a catchy manner, slows down in the middle, and then picks back up. In addition, track 7 "The child within" is over 7 minutes and track 9 "Masquerade" (the CD's closer) is almost 10 minutes. The remainder of the songs hover around 5 minutes in length, but despite the length of all of the songs, they are all catchy, memorable, and not even one of them feels too long. If you haven't already noticed by the song titles, the band's lyrical theme is based on Christianity, but that's something that's quite common these days and barely worth mentioning.

One of the band's strongest aspects is definitely their keyboard player, Olli Hipeli, who offers up many sweet solos (a la Sonata Arctica, Thunderstone, Stratovarius, etc.), and when his keys aren't upfront, they're in the background in an atmospheric manner. The rhythms are catchy, as guitarists Panu (already mentioned as the vocalist too) and Heikki Makinen provide great guitar work sure to please power metal fans. I like all of the songs, but my favorite is definitely the extremely memorable track 4 "Hope from above", as it sinks itself in your brain on the first listen and is something I always look forward to each time I start spinning the CD.

To finish, I want to mention that this is not really an aggressive CD with a lot of speed, and is instead of the smooth, melodic and emotional type, with all of the songs bouncing back and forth between slow and mid-paced, occasionally entering fast-paced territory. To be honest though, I'm not sure if I would want more speed on this CD, as every song is successful at grabbing my attention and the CD is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. So what we've got here is a new melodic/progressive power metal band to watch out for, and an excellent debut for fans of the genre.



CLINT




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