Many fans of the most probably most honest True Metal institution SACRED STEEL were close to a heart attack, as there were rumours that they would split up. That this is not the case is impressively proved by the new long player “Hammer Of Destruction“. As parts of the band preferred to play Death Metal, there are two new faces with Jonas Khalil and Kai Schindelar and Jens Sonnenberg switched from the bass to the guitar.
This refreshment is positively noticeable. The swift opener and title song is taking no prisoners and has you shout along right away! “Where Demons Dare To Tread“ definitely has some obscure US steel in it and sounds even more menacing through some grunts. Speaking of Death Metal influences! Other than a few growls these have been put to rest and SACRED STEEL concentrate on the true school. “Maniacs Of Speed” is introduced by a movie sample, a super fast smasher, which reminds me of bands such as EXCITER or AGENT STEEL. And it continues hit after hit. Best headbanger fodder.
Of course everything is heavily influenced by the good old Eighties. Even the production, which has been taken care of by Harris Johns, sounds pretty old school. Still it has a lot of power. There are great riff attacks, superb solos and Gerrit’s usual siren vocals. As fan of the band you can’t make a mistake whatsoever. Oh yes, before I forget, the song “Black Church” is my personal highlight of the album, very epic and mystic this slow-paced song is going to be a future band classic! Of course I also have to mention the cover version, they chose a piece of the century epos by JAG PANZER, “Ample Destruction“: “Generally Hostile“, which should bring every underground freak to tears.
An album that contains neither bombast elements nor keyboards or choirs, but offers what SACRED STEEL stood for since the beginnings: Pure fucking Metal in your face!
(Online December 16, 2006)