SACRED WARRIOR - OBSESSIONS: METAL ICON SERIES (*NEW-CD, 2019, Retroactive Records)
- Remastered by J. Powell at Steinhaus
- 16 page booklet in jewel case, special pics, write ups, and inside scoop from guitarist Jonathan Johnson.
- For fans of Queensryche, Recon and Crimson Glory.
Remastered 2019 edition of "Obsessions" Sacred Warrior's 4th album originally released in 1991, is melodic, heavy, and full of emotion and cumulative of 4 years of work. It's Sacred Warrior at their best. Longtime keyboardist Rick Macias left the band at this point and was replaced by a second guitar player, Johnathan Johnson.
In 1988 the Christian metal movement was really beginning to grow. Bands like Bloodgood and Stryper were already very popular on the scene. However, most new bands were either moving towards the popular thrash or pop metal sounds. There were very few Christian bands exploring the melodic and progressive style of bands like Queensryche, Crimson Glory and Fates Warning. Sacred Warrior were one of the very first notable bands on the scene to fuse melodic, progressive metal sound with a heavy American power metal. Of course, what really makes or breaks a band of this style is the vocalist. Sacred Warrior vocalist Rey Parra is often compared to one of heavy metal's elite singers, Geoff Tate of Queensryche. While the comparison is valid, Parra also has a style and charisma all his own. His high, soaring, glass-shattering voice is the catalyst of Sacred Warrior's sound, combined with a tight rhythm section, amazing guitar solos, searing riffs and memorable songs. The band's lyrical direction stood in direct opposition to the many bands out there using "evil" as a shock tactic to sell records. Their message was a direct attempt to infiltrate the dark heavy metal scene with a message of hope and faith in Jesus. In retrospect, some of the lyrics on "Rebellion" are a bit corny, but certainly no more-so than the hordes of bands promoting a dark, negative message at the time.
Sacred Warrior’s fourth release Obsessions (1991) was the culmination of four great years of work. One of the greatest aspects of this album remains just how real and visceral are the music and the words conveyed through this metal. The over-arching thread was the faithfulness of God – that no matter how bad life gets with addictions (“Obsessions”), no matter what death steals from us in this world (“Sweet Memories”), no matter how far we stray in our faith (“No Turning Back”), no matter how much the world’s ways seem wise to us (“Kamikaze”), no matter how isolated we feel from God because of our sins (“Remember Me”) – that God is faithful, and God is there for us (“Fire From Heaven”). And while evil roams this earth constantly looking for prey (“Mad Man”) the hope and faith we have in Christ sets us free (“Temples On Fire”). What a dynamic album that breaks it all down in such a simple and human way. This progressive metal soundtrack to these eternal observations is both exceptionally executed and timelessly relevant. Undisputedly, one of the finest moments in Christian metal history, Obsessions has been gloriously remastered and while many fans might not believe much else could be added to this album to make it better from an audio standpoint, J Powell at Steinhaus has managed to add a sonic crispness and punch that makes the walls reverberate. Most importantly, the “bright” quality of the music is liberated. These metallic anthems have retained their power and relevance for nearly 30 years – a testament to the legacy of Sacred Warrior – and now they sound wonderfully fresh and revitalized in 2019!
This is THE definitive reissue of one of Christian metal’s most definitive albums. For fans of Recon, Queensryche, and Crimson Glory! Limited Edition 500 CDs!
Track Listing: “Wings Of A Dream” (4:48), “Sweet Memories” (4:31), “Turning Back” (4:11), “Obsessions” (4:46), “Kamakazi” (4:49), “Remember Me” (4:40), “Fire From Heaven” (4:16), “Temples On Fire” (4:03), “Mad Man” (6:13)