Sacred Oath-A crystal vision
Angel Thorne/World Sound
In the mid-to late 80's it seemed like every long haired dude who owned an instrument seemed to be trying to form a metal band. In 1985 a couple of high schools kids in Connecticut decided to form a band. Unlike a lot of other clueless teens these guys had some talent. They became Sacred Oath and pretty soon they were playing shows even recorded a demo. Following a second demo they signed a record deal and recorded their debut album "A Crystal Vision" in May of 1987, but it wasn't released until 1988. I didn't hear this album until recent years. I'm not sure that I would have been as impressed by it in 1988 as I am now because I was a thrash first metal fan back then. So maybe it's good that I didn't hear this album until now. Even on their debut the music was tight and well thought out with enough tempo changes to make it interesting. Beyond that they had the skill to not just pull it off, but make it look easy. The style is what qualified as progressive leaning metal in the 80's. Think Fates Warning's first three albums, Crimson Glory and Queensryche before Rage for order. They also have some classic metal mixed in as well along the lines of someone like Omen. The vocals of Rob Thorne alternate between a deep but clean style and some high pitch screams that he lets loose as needed. It's difficult to pick favorite tracks here as every song is good. If forced to choose I'll go with "The beginning" with it's swirling riffs, the hard hitting "The ferryman's lair" and "Message to the children" which runs six minutes, but feels like they put ten minutes worth of music into it. Fans of 80's metal always seem to have some lesser know albums that they hold up as great albums that most people missed out on. This album doesn't seem to be mentioned in those conversations very often. That's a shame because it should be. Unfortunately the band would break up not lone after this was released. However they years later they reformed. They had the sound down early as this album proves. The re-issue includes a lyric booklet.