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Review: Sacred Oath - Return of the Dragon
Sacred Oath
Return of the Dragon

Label: Independent
Year released: 2021
Duration: 51:25
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: May 31, 2021
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Return of the Dragon

Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (6 Votes)

Sacred Oath have been a going concern in their second life for a lot longer than they were together in the glory days. This is their ninth studio album, and I was not expecting much from it, as all of their reunion albums I have heard have been highly disappointing. This one, however, shows some flashes of the band we used to love.

At least this time out the Oath actually spent some time on the production, as the sound is much, much better than the nutless sound on their more recent works. The guitars sound heavy, and there are riffs here, actual riffs! Rather than the dull groove nonsense that seemed like their new direction, this actually flashes some real riffs that sound like they might be worthy of the band that cranked out A Crystal Vision.

The songwriting, however, is still uneven, and too often the band seems to get caught up in annoying prog structures or string noise rather than anything catchy. The pieces are here, but they don't really put them together that well. Another problem is Rob Thorne as a vocalist. He no longer has access to the wailing upper range he used to have, and so he has to rely on his midrange pitch. Admittedly, he has been working on it, and so it doesn't sound bad, but it's unimpressive. Sometimes he tries to crank up a higher reach, and it just sounds like overproduced screeching—he just doesn't have it anymore.

This album is better than their other recent works, and it at least sounds like a metal album, rather than whatever other bullshit they were aiming for previously, but it's still not anywhere near what we wanted from this band.

Other related information on the site
Review: A Crystal Vision (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Sacred Oath (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Twelve Bells (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
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