It’s been a staggering 23 years since The Obsessed last put out an album – a hell of a long time to wait, by anyone’s standards. And while mainman Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich has kept himself pretty busy since ‘94’s The Church Within, there’s always been a sense of disappointment that this legendary name fell by the wayside, especially given the quality records like Lunar Womb.
Sacred’s significance, therefore, can’t be underestimated: its release should be greeted with pure joy by doom heads… and anyone who gets their kicks from gargantuan riffs.
Why? Well first and foremost, this is a damn fine rock record. Yes, the Iommian spirit weaves its way through titanic songs like Sodden Jackal and Sacred – Wino is, after all, one of doom metal’s most gifted architects – but it’s the infectious, ass-kicking grooves of It’s Only Money and Razor Wire that push this opus into ‘instant classic’ territory. This is a record that stands up to anything The Obsessed have given us in the past: rich in variety, beautifully composed, compelling until the last chord rings out.
Plus, as a musician, Wino excels throughout and at a time when rock is losing many of its heroes, it’s reassuring to know that the veteran metaller is sounding better than ever. His distinctive vocal tones add great depth to tracks such as Stranger Things and, in common with the best guitarists, he makes every note count – whether he’s forging another cast iron riff or letting rip with a dazzling solo.
Sacred? You couldn’t get a more appropriate name for this mighty opus…