Sacred Groove - Needful things 3.5/5

Reviewed: 10-1-12


1. Angel in the sky
2. Waking dream
3. Unholy house
4. Nature of the beast
5. Follow the call
6. This way called life
7. Deep in his mind
8. Broken flower
9. She braves the storm
10. Needful things

Sacred Groove is a new band from Germany, and 'Needful things' is their full-length debut. The band's style is fairly basic melodic/heavy metal, but with moments of power metal and some of the songs have a slight gothic metal feel too. There are some keys (from keyboardist Juppi Pullen), but they're mostly in the background and presented in an atmospheric manner, though there are some times when the songs are lightly symphonic. For the most part, the band sticks to mid-paced and bouncy melodic/heavy metal though, with simple yet catchy rhythms, and there are a few slow songs as well.

Vocally, this is another female fronted band, but vocalist Isabel Willenberg isn't one of those soprano/operatic vocalists who have flooded the symphonic/gothic metal styles, and she instead offers up a smooth performance with her pleasant yet strong voice that fits the melodic/heavy metal style perfectly. With the musical and vocal styles all wrapped up, the band is comparable to Beautiful Sin, Mastercastle (without the neo-classical elements), Heaven Rain, Triosphere, Holyhell, Elements and Mercury Rain, though most of these bands lean much more towards power metal than Sacred Groove does.

There are a few things that have really stood out with this CD. For starters, even though there are moments of power metal (most notable with track 4 "Nature of the beast") and some of the songs have a slight gothic metal feel (mostly with track 7 "Deep in his mind"), it's obvious the band has settled into the melodic/heavy metal style and their focus is clear. Also, the choruses are well written, memorable, and along with Isabel's voice, make for a CD that flows really well. Finally, I like the guitar solos that pop up and highlight some of the songs, though I personally would have liked even more guitar solos - like what's heard from Elements' CD 'Northern echoes', or any of Mastercastle's CDs.

So what we have here is a new band that's off to a great start, and if you're into the more melodic side of heavy metal with female vocals, this could be right up your alley and a nice break from the many symphonic/gothic metal CDs out there.




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