(7/10) It was in the beginning of February this year when the inventors of doom metal started their well-deserved pension. Black Sabbath played their last show in Birmingham, UK and with the last riff fading in the black sky it looks very much the band became a part of history. Therefor it’s even more important that the next generation of bands, in the meantime also in their 50's, keep the spirit alive. The Obsessed is one of these bands that were and are very much influenced by the quartet from Birmingham. The guys from Maryland began in 1976 as Warhorse before they renamed themselves into The Obsessed. After having been on a longer hiatus the band unveils with „Sacred“ a kind of comeback album. It’s the first studio release since „The Church Within“ which dates back to 1994. „Sacred“ starts with „Sodden Jackal“ which is an excellent doom metal representative. Slow guitars and hypnotic vocals dominate the track that comes with a dark vibe, reminding of the mentioned Black Sabbath. Compared with the opener, „Punk Crusher“ feels almost light and easy. The Obsessed shifts gears, plays faster and since the track comes with a solid melody component I was more reminded of bands like Saxon. „Punk Crusher“ is a cool song that’s more rooted in the early days of NWoBHM than pure doom metal. Talking about the 70’s means also to mention „Razor Wire“. It’s some Deep Purple that shimmers through and adds a classic rock element to this album. Another song that worth to mentioned is „Cold Blood“. The four minutes lasting instrumental takes the listener again back to the Sabbath days. The main component of the track is a Iommi-inspired riff that sounds pretty cool, even though not very unique. The longest number on the album is called „Stranger Things“. It’s not only the length that makes this tune slightly different. It sounds in one or another way quite modern compared to the rest of the album. The song has its moments but it sounds a bit average too. So, what’s the conclusion? „Sacred“ doesn’t fill the gap that the end of Black Sabbath created. However, it’s an album that features some quite good doom metal track and offers a menu of well-done metal songs that reminds of the early days of metal. I like „Sacred“ with its honesty and nostalgic approach. The Obsessed meets expectations with this new studio longplayer.
Label: Relapse records Genre: Doom Metal Release Date EU: April 7th, 2017