Roxx Records / DMD
The Sacrificed have brought in two new members for their aptly titled third album and the results are nothing short of amazing. Really this new album speaks volumes about the difference new blood can make for a band. With new guitarist/ backing vocalist Michael Phillips (Deliverance, fasedown) and new bass player Daniel Cordova (Vengeance Rising) joining founding members Eli Prinsen (lead vocalist) and Jay Williams (drums) "III" has ended up being not only the best album so far from this Christian metal band but also one of the more enjoyable power metal/progressive metal albums I've heard in quite sometime. When the promo promised to take the band to a whole new level both musically and lyrically it wasn't kidding. On this new album the group has finally started to form their own sound as they look to move away from the comparisons to bands like Queensryche and Sacred Warrior. Sure the group was influenced by those two acts and there is no doubt that this new album will appeal to fans of Queensryche, Symphony X and Dream Theater. That said there is some excellent power metal to be found within and you can tell we have the two new members to thank for that. While the Queensryche vibe is still present it comes off more as early Queensryche when Geoff Tate and crew were more power metal and less progressive rock. This album also makes a turn into the heavier side of metal much like where Deliverance started off. Opening with "The World Is Changing" (which is just news clips) the album tackles topics ranging from The Ark of the Covenant to The Nephilim Agenda. The band has never been shy about tackling controversial topics while also wearing their faith on their sleeves. As with the groups previous efforts ("2012" and "The Da Vinci Hoax") "III" is a release that might turn off those who are not Christian. Even the cover (which is a symbol and representation of the three nails that pierced the hands and feet of Jesus Christ) makes a bold statement that The Sacrificed are not going to hide their faith. Take the song "Behold The Power Of God" for example. No confusing the meaning behind that one. Yet here is the beauty of this band as they get their message out while laying down seriously intense power metal. My guess is you won't hear a praise song like that everyday! Even if your not a Christian there is plenty to enjoy about this album as honestly well crafted progressive/power metal like this really pulls you in. A great effort and an album I will be listening to a lot down the road.