CD REVIEW: Sacred 13 -Jagged Regrets
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"packs a powerful punch"
"dark & powerful"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
Artist: Sacred 13
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Metalcore – Hard Rock
Sounds Like: Metallica, Pantera, Puddle of Mud
Technical Grade: 7/10
Weakness: Dated Mix, Marketability
3 piece Sacred 13 hails from Edinboro, Pennsylvania. Consisting of members Josh Kraichkoff Lead vocals & guitar, Gus Ward Bass guitar, & Sam Edwards on Drums. This band aspires to be this generations Metallica. This is their third release to date
The CD kicks things off with “Secrets” an aggressive intro piece that launches you head first into the a-typical metalcore groove with its impressive apocalyptic prelude, driving rock rhythms & passionate vocal accents. Track 2 “Lifeless” dishes out guitar riffs that literally rip your head off, coupled with catchy chorus & solo guitar that will make your head spin. Track 3 “Out of Time” dishes out more of the same metalcore attack but renders the strongest piece yet with its melodic vocal delivery, & grand slam chorus from Kraichkoff. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of classic Metallica, Pantera, Puddle of Mud, & even splashes of Disturbed & Stained. I would classify this music as vintage metalcore yet very hooky & melodic in nature. The sound is consistent, raw, & in your face. This 13 piece song catalogue is very consistent, delivering impressive stops, starts, peaks & valleys, & world class songwriting. The overall 3 piece sounds pretty tight, playing & composing their parts like a well oiled machine. I like the vocal timber of Josh Kraichkoff’s voice. It’s appealing, & pleasing to the ear, but it’s got the stereotypical jagged edge you would expect. He also mixes things up with his 2 prong vocal/scream attack & is in the vein of James Hatfield (Metallica) & David Draiman (Disturbed). Sacred 13 strikes the perfect balance between the sanity & insanity. The lyrics are first rate, the messages are dark, without going over the top, Songs a dark & powerful. From dark “Wash away the pain” to Passionate “Tomorrow” & anthems “I Don’t Care” & “Don’t be Afraid” to hard hitting “coming Home”, “One day at a Time” & “Inferno” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. There’s even an interesting Beatles remake - “I am the Walrus” & an acoustic version of “Out of Time” on the CD as well – you’ve got to check it out.
The overall production quality (recording, mixing, mastering) is not what I would call world class. These recordings lack crystal clarity, serious bottom end punch, & engineering depth. The mix - renders a few interesting touches, but overall sounds extremely flat, one sided, repetitive in desperate need of more dynamic. The overall mix lacks the crystal clear hi end touches & powerful bottom end punishment. This CD has all the trademarks of a late eighties & early ninety mix job. It takes skill and engineering savvy to record, mix, & master a musical production to industry standards these days. The impact this will have on its overall marketability cannot be overstated. If this was 1982 this would be a cutting edge musical production, unfortunately its 2010, & the bar is set really high for independent artists such as Sacred 13. Given the talent factor of Sacred 13, & the scope of their songwriting craft, amazing playing abilities, & top of the line musicianship - it’s a bit unfortunate besides being unorthodox. If this review seems lopsided it’s merely a reflection to the extremes presented on this CD.
Overall Jagged Regrets from Sacred 13 packs a powerful punch & clearly shows this band has got the goods. The timing is spot on, the songs, writing, lyrics, musicianship – all clearly first rate. Its strong suit - the amazing writing & playing abilities of this 3 piece. There isn’t a weak song on the catalogue. Metalcore fans will enjoy this CD but it also appeals to those who enjoy melodic heavy rock as well. Like a heavyweight fighter this CD goes the full 12 rounds delivering 13 amazing songs. They are consistent, raw & in your face. Exactly what you're looking for.
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