"The Bloodshed Summoning"

By Dr. Abner Mality

THWACK! That's the sound a crossbow bolt fired by an angry Saxon warrior makes when it hits you between your eyes. That's also the same type of impact you get when "Storm of Fire 1916", the first track on "The Bloodshed Summoning", comes roaring out of the speakers. Goddamn! This is METAL down your throat, up your ass and right between your, gutsy, heavy, taking no prisoners! The barbarians are on the loose and Sacred Steel is back in business.

Some feel these Germans are taking the piss out of classic heavy metal with their cliched music, but nobody who writes songs this strong is playing just for laughs. "The Bloodshed Summoning" is as metal as it gets and packs enough righteous riffage to send a hipster's mustachioed head flying off his neck! Thing is, though the songs are familiar, they are hooky and brilliantly written, with great variation in tempo, catchy choruses and even some progressive elements on cuts like the brooding title track. The pace is as fast as a Mongol's warhorse on cuts like "The Darkness of Angels", "Under the Banner of Blasphemy"  and bonus track "Perversion of the Scriptures" but it's not total thrash. "No God/No Religion" is a stirring power metal anthem with emphasis on POWER and "Crypts of the Fallen" has a creepy, epic feel. Singer Gerrit Muntz's vocals are much of an acquired taste but he doesn't do as much of the chipmunk-like shrieking as he used to and his uniquely fruity tones fit the style of Sacred Steel. He puts a ton of passion into the music, as does the band as a whole. Their whole credo is we are classic metal with big steel balls and fuck off if you're not into it!

Worth picking up the expanded version to hear a couple more originals as well as their stirring cover of The Misfits "Dig Up Her Bones" (one of their best songs, I don't give a shit what any oldschooler says). Only throwaway tracks are two brief melodic instrumentals, which can easily be ignored.

SHHHH-TANG! THWACK! Here come those heavy metal arrows again!!!!