SACRED WARRIOR - WAITING IN DARKNESS (*NEW-Vinyl, 2021, Retroactive Records)
Fans have been waiting a long time for Sacred Warrior's 5th studio album and now it is finally here and the wait was worth it! The biggest disappointment is that Ray Parra is not on this album as he and the band parted ways, however, the new vocalist Eli Prinsen fits Sacred Warrior very well. Prinsen is not a Parra sound-alike but he can hit all the high notes and is capable of all the same soaring power metal attack that Parra could give. The style is also surprisingly heavy for Sacred Warrior, who thankfully have not opted for a "modern rock" or nu-metal (alternative metal) sound that so many older bands have tried to attempt. No, this is the same progressive-tinged power metal style that Sacred Warrior is known for, and yet they're not trapped in the late 80's early 90's. This is a progression to the next level but true to their pedigree of power metal.
Therefore you can be rest assured that Tony's drum work is powerful, fast, and complex and that Bruce Swift still delivers the goods in heavy guitar riffs and blistering lead-work. Bruce seems to be hitting shred territory on a few of his solos. The band is also still committed to singing about God's word(which I am happy about). There are too few Christian metal bands that are this good anymore; (and in this style of metal). However even non-Christians should dig this as there is nothing overtly preachy about the lyrics, this is just great metal! Production quality is strong and certainly the best and loudest yet for Sacred Warrior. They even redo a couple of older tracks at the end of the album 'Day of the Lord' from the 1st album and 'Temples on Fire' from their 4th (Obsession). In closing, if you like good power metal in the style of early Queensryche, later Judas Priest, or Impelliterri than I highly recommend this awesome new addition to the Sacred Warrior discography. This album may very well put them on the map in today's metal scene!