Undisputedly, SACRAL RAGE is the most interesting newcomer of the Greek metal scene, if not of the new generation of bands in general. Their tight adherence towards technical power/speed metal is touching and their superb songwriting skills is impressive.
Continuing from what has begun in their debut full length, the band now offers us a newly bred collection of songs that slightly differentiate from their previous brothers.
After a brief intro, “Eternal Solstice” kicks off-to show the clueless auditor what SACRAL RAGE is all about: technical riffs, rapid tempo alterations and solid rhythm foundation. The band doesn’t bother hiding its influences: HELSTAR, ANNIHILATOR, WATCHTOWER, VOIVOD, CYNIC, 80’s speed / power / thrash and a KING DIAMOND approximation both on vocals and songwriting. Just listen to the last part of “Samsara L.C.E.”, the totally annihilated first part of “Vaguely Decoded” or best (and most interesting) song of the album, “Necropia”, in which you can hear influences from MORGANA LEFAY, MANTICORA and TAD MOROSE emerge.
The band leans toward a more aggressive path compared to their previous album, something made obvious from the guitar riffs and the drums which seem to be taken directly from a MEKONG DELTA, CORONER or ANACRUSIS album. Needless to say the audio production and overall sound is great, although I’d prefer a little touch of “mud” in the guitar sound.
The album is characterised by two things: integrity and precision.
The band is tightly focused on what they attempt to play and in the end their effort is not abortive. The riffs, the guitar leads, the bass, the vocals and the drums have been placed with mathematical accuracy in order to create a perfect mixture of power/thrash lunacy, and whoever has witness one of their live performances knows that its their main purpose. However, this is a double-edged sword. The band’s minimal deviation leads to lack of spontaneousness at some point, as they seem to force themselves towards that direction and never cease fire. Take for example the last track of the album, “The Glass”. It doesn’t progress as smoothly as someone would expect from a song running 15 minutes long. Yet, do not let this comment affect you.
“Beyond Celestial Echoes” is impressive, inspired, heavy and has that authentic 80’s metal vibe. The band walks off the beaten path, creating music, not for everyone but for the very few who are possessed by a slight hint of madness.