SACRED STEEL – Iron Blessings

SACRED STEEL - Iron Blessings


Release date: July 19, 2004

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In the place where wool is wool and sheep mean sex, near Stuttgart, Germany, Sacred Steel reign alongside cow-tippers Brainstorm (and Symphorce) as Die Schwaben’s best offering to the Metal community. This is these True Metalers’ fifth release, their second on Massacre, while Metal Blade handled the band’s first three.

Formed in 1996 as a continuation of the band Tragedy Divine, Sacred Steel quickly gained reputation among true Metalheads, each of the albums recorded for Metal Blade saw the band’s popularity and reputation as a great live act rise. And rightfully so, because Sacred Steel played, and still plays, fast Heavy Metal, with emphasis on the capital letters H and M, and the singer Gerrit P. Mutz, often accused of giving the band an Agent Steel-comparison, as well as doing his job a wee bit on the side of the so-called singing rules (who the fuck cares about “perfect” singing anyway in a Heavy Metal setting?), still refuses to have his mouth shut up by the critics.

With Massacre’s first Sacred Steel release, Slaughter Prophecy, the band started to (slightly) experiment (a word totally uncalled for, but still…) a little with heavier Death Metal-like vocals paired up with the typical 80’s influenced screams. This gave the band a more trademark sound – a sound they are about to take to perfection with Iron Blessings, which deserves to be called the band’s strongest disc to date. Compared to the three first releases, without going in any commercial direction or giving the fans a less heavy product than expected, Sacred Steel does (again, just slightly) more midtempo stuff these days, which tend to fit Gerrit’s “new” vocal style better.

Produced by Achim Kohler at his “House Of Music”, the sound and production is flawless – it mixes the old school elements and inspiration with a solid dose of updated sound, all the time finding the perfect balance between just that; old school and modern. Iron Blessings proves that you don’t need to do what Nasty Savatage most likely did on their most recent output; record on the cheapest and most outdated sounding amps you could find lying around in a deserted 80’s “has been” studio.

Iron Blessings is a strong fist in the face. Seriously, the songs offer just enough diversity, there’s no weak track to be found that doesn’t belong – it is indeed a cohesive piece of work, from the fast and heavy “Open Wide the Gate”, to the anthemic “We Die Fighting”, with its powerful and masculine backing vocals, the Candlemass inspired “The Chains Of The Nazarene”, the riff monster “Screams Of The Tortured”, and “Sabbath Of The Possessed”. Sacred Steel delivers Metal with no compromises, and I bet they turn doubters into believers every time they hit the stage with their Total Metal Overdrive. Check these guys out (and never mind my remark about those poor sheep).


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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