THE OBSESSED - Sacred
May 3, 2017, a year ago
Is it truly an Obsessed record, or a Wino solo outing, just under that vaunted moniker? While Scott Weinrich opted to merge the two histories, taking the players from the last incarnation of Spirit Caravan to resurrect The Obsessed, there are subtle differences. A fan of all things Wino (including his involvement with Saint Vitus), the majority of these 14 inclusions (including instrumental interludes and a pair of extra bonuses) firmly reside in The Obsessed camp, with renewed rigor on the guitar tones/heaviness. Just witness “Cold Blood”, a crushing guitar instrumental, heavy on the groove!
The title track opens, a clarion call of distorted guitar soloing atop smooth voiced vocals. “Razor Wire” sounds more modern, and aggressive. Bludgeoning slowness is the name of the game, with the abruptly concluding “Sodden Jackal”, a song they were playing live on the last tour. A riff happy, upbeat “Punk Crusher” follows, atypical frenetic pace, but a twin guitar jam passage. Speaking of uncharacteristic speed, “Haywire” has big chords and the omnipresent fuzztone, but seems closer to a ‘70s Nuge tune, than something from the King of Doom. Hint of Hammond organ and clanging metal in the sludgy “Perseverance Of Futility” (great title!). Mid-album comes the best one-two punch: a short (2:35) searing, bluesy guitar packing “It's Only Money” and the aforementioned voiceless contribution (the first of two).
After a lone acoustic to start (and reprise as outro), “Stranger Things” creeps along, the first one to smell of filler. More conventional doom structures (drums, booming guitar) for “My Daughter My Sons”. A blazing guitar throughout, “Be The Night” should be the finale. However, the 28 second, fade-out “Interlude” brings the proper disc to a close, but “On So Long” and “Crossroader” are out there, as extras. The former is over nine minutes in length, ethereal, almost jazzy, with Weinrich's voice in echo. The latter is akin to Hammond accented ‘70s Brit rock. Know it's been 23 years since The Church Within and undoubtedly Weinrich had a lot of ideas, but a little editing surely would ave increased the impact (and overall score).