THE OBSESSED - Sacred
Well seeing that THE OBSESSED are coming to town in May I better get a review out for their latest release. I've gotta give Wino credit on this one and you should too if you're an OBSESSED fan. The band back in the day (aka: the 1980s) was a hard fuckin rock/metal band (we didn't call it doom back then.) or at least a precursor for what we now call doom. Now on this new one titled Sacred, Wino and company continue or at least extend the legacy of that band. I always wondered what latter day listeners to Wino's music thought of early OBSESSED with songs like "Tombstone Highway", "Freedom" or "Forever Midnight" when they were expecting VITUS doom. Yeah it must have been a shock but this release to me is a highlight because I'm not a young pup but I am around the same age as Wino (two years younger) and this release pretty cool.
Twenty years since the last OBSESSED release, ah who cares? Basically it's Wino with a new rhythm section consisting of Brian Costantino (who played with Wino in SPIRIT CARAVAN last year) on drums and fellow Maryland-er Dave Sherman on bass. But come on it's all about Wino with his rough vocal style, great riffs and songwriting prowess. The release kicks off with a re-recorded version of a past OBSESSED great "Sodden Jackal". Obviously Wino is making sure the listener knows he is determined to keep this an OBSESSED release. This is followed up with "Punk Crusher" which is my favorite cut on here. It's got that early 80's punk vibe. As far as the rest of the tracks go, well there are highs mostly but a few lows.
The title track is kinda in the vein of SPIRIT CARAVAN with a decent guitar lead. "Haywire" and the THIN LIZZY cover "It's Only Money" are decent enough. What's an OBSESSED release without a cover song? "Stranger Things" is a pop tune. "Razor Wire" sounds like a good outtake from the album The Church Within. In fact Sacred, albeit twenty years away sounds like a perfect follow up to The Church Within. Be that as it may yes this release is great but I'm partial to a few tracks off of the first two albums and all of the Incarnate compilation. That's me, I like the band when they were a band, raw and hungry. What came after that was/is cool as well.
The thing is when I look at Wino's career output I put him in the same category as Eric Clapton. You can look at points in their careers where there were outstanding moments, fuckin iconic moments. Then there are those where you had some great stuff mixed with decent stuff. Kinda like looking up at the night sky and seeing the stars. There's a lot of em up there but some are brighter than the others. And if ya follow the bright ones they will take you home. That's just like Wino, every where he touches he leaves a shine. Nuff Said.