Sacred Steel – The Bloodshed Summoning (Cruz Del Sur Music)

Sunday, 14th April 2013
Rating: 6.5/10

I groan out loud as I write this because I just spent 61 minutes listening to a band that cannot decide on what genre they want to place themselves in. The mix of genres is staggering, once you factor in power metal, heavy metal and thrash metal all colliding like a WWE battle royal match. Of course we are not talking about wrestling here, but it’s a fair comparison when you consider how the styles of music on this release compete for dominance within the songs.

The Bloodshed Summoning is the seventh release from Sacred Steel and I was quite enthused when I heard the frantic moments that ushered in the opening track “Storm of Fire 1916.” Echoes of Kreator come to mind and the song is laced with some aggressive thrash to get things going quickly. I am also not sure about vocalist Gerrit Mutz’s approach to mimicking the low and raspy style that Mille Petrozza utilizes on all Kreator releases. It worked for the opening number, but I grew tired of it on songs like “The Darkness of Angels” and “Under the Banner of Blasphemy.”

This also isn’t a thrash album, so don’t expect to pick up this release hoping to get a healthy does of fast paced and aggressive music adhering to every song. In fact there is quite a bit of variety to be found here, and more traditional metal can be heard on “The Night They Came to Kill” and “Journey Into Purgatory.” You might even get the occasional death metal growl and Black Metal screech to boot, so prepare yourself for a mix of genres. The Bloodshed Summoning is a mixed bag and Mutz’s growls and low end vocals don’t help to alleviate some of the genre confusion.

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