Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sacred Heart-The Vision

Pure Underground Records

It was shortly after 5pm on Monday night when I noticed that I had a new e-mail from Pure Steel Promotions. I only looked at it ever so briefly as I was set to leave the house for the night. Even though it was in German I did catch the Sacred Heart bit and spent part of the evening out wondering if it was the same Sacred Heart I knew from Ohio? Sure enough it is and what a strange thing it is to see this collection now after all these years! I don't recall hearing "The Vision" the first time around although I was familiar with the band thanks to Auburn Records and their Heavy Artillery compilation. The Heavy Artillery compilation was a collection of mostly Ohio bands and a big local seller back in the day. It turned me on to a lot of good Ohio heavy metal bands and was a much loved tape until I lost it in a move. I have been trying to track down a download of the compilation for old time's sake but that is another story for another time. Pure Underground Records is re-releasing the original three-track demo ( "The Vision") along with the band's Heavy Artillery track "Time After Time". Also included from Sacred Heart is a unreleased track by the name of "Take Hold". All of the Sacred Heart material come from the days when bands like Fifth Angel, Shok Paris and even Breaker were big so you can really see the influence there. The material on here has been tweaked and re-mastered so this is not some demo sounding material. It is nice sounding melodic hard rock and even if it has not held up that well over time it is still nice to hear this old Cleveland act again. Tacked on to the tail-end of the re-release is a six-track-EP from the Byron Nemeth Group. Byron Nemeth was one of the guitarists in Sacred Heart and actually went on to be a well respected solo musician after having spent time in another Ohio metal band (Amon-Ra). That is the only real connection between the time groups on this album as the Byron Nemeth Group is more progressive metal in nature. Both sets of songs are interesting in their own right although having this progressive rock/metal band (with some keyboard and even violin parts) tied together with US metal seems odd at best. But its not something that would persuade me from suggesting this re-release.

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