Pitch Black Records (2012)
A 15 track concept album about the life and times of Alexander The Great- not really a surprising story for an epic Greek power metal band like Sacred Blood to tackle. This second album from the trio incorporates a folk feel at times, including a variety of folk instruments when necessary as well as those cultural epic textures – evoking elements of Manowar and Virgin Steele against Iron Maiden soundscapes for “The Battle Of The Granicus (Persian In Throes)”. Using narrative aspects and occasional interludes to set up the framework for the famous conqueror in ancient history, the guitar work of Polydeykis is very harmonically conscious and never extraneous, carefully scripting all the right riffs and notes that keep the listener engaged.
As far as a vocalist Epeios Focaeus can shine in higher reaches but seems to struggle with slower, building songs like “Marching To War” where some of the proper English enunciation issues become glaringly obvious. The folk instrumentation within “New God Rising (At The Oracle Of Siwa)” and “Battlefield Aenaon” adds dramatic tension or relaxing ambiance depending upon its need. At 52 minutes Sacred Blood give you the highlights of Alexander’s career without over extending its welcome- and I think musically they excel in their brand of energetic mid-tempo epic power.
“Alexandros” may have limited cult appeal, but I believe those who think Manowar have veered off course (and think Virgin Steele struggle to compete with their back catalog as well) should find solace in Sacred Blood’s solid metal ethics and principles. Brings me back to my world history academic years many, many decades ago…
Rating: 3.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe