|Review: The Reign of Terror - Sacred Ground|
Label: Limb Music Products
Year released: 2001
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: November 20, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (10 Votes)
The third and most well-known release from neo-classical metallers The Reign Of Terror was, you could say, little more than a channel for once Malmsteen vocalist Michael Vescera to do what he does best, and with renowned shredder Joe Stump on board, it's not too difficult to predict this before the first note. And of course, it's very much as you'd expect: pure Malmsteen worship, comprised of the best moments between Magnum Opus and The Seventh Sign. Most songs are played to a double-kicking backline, with Vescera's soaring vibrato dressing it up so well. Stump's fingers fly across the fretboard at a frenetic rate, but there is a lot of melody in the riffs, and even the choruses are impressive (though they are hammered into you a thousand times). No surprise, the production also sounds like those Malmsteen albums, and from the moment it begins until the dying strains of their "Kill The King" cover, this has that Swedish bastard's grubby, jam-covered fingers all over it.
Opener "Save Me" is one of the best songs I've heard in this style, rushing onward with an open D riff even Timo Tolkki would like a piece of, and elsewhere "Last Time", "Set Us Free", and "The Unknown" provide good, healthy returns, making Sacred Ground almost mandatory for fans of At Vance, Iron Mask, or even Virtuosity. For a safe listen whilst you're doing other things, you could do worse than this album. It's more consistent than anything Yngwie has done. You gotta give it props for that.
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