Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sacred Chao - Sacred Chao EP (1989)

The short-lived, ill-fated Sacred Chao is named for the Living Death song "Sacred Chao", which makes a lot of sense when one considers that this is basically Living Death, or three members of the better known speed/thrash entity, who decided to continue their journey after that band's 1989 split. However, despite the presence of Thorsen Bergmann, Atomic Steif and Fred, there is not really all that much in common, as Sacred Chao perform a sort of mix of uplifting melodic/speed metal void of the thrash influences that had gradually enveloped Living Death, to the betterment of their sound. This has a lot more in common with the sounds of Running Wild, Rage, Scanner, and other German ilk, only Sacred Chao has this enthusiastic, goofy air about it that makes it a little difficult to take seriously.

Bergmann for one sounds quite different here, hanging out in a middle register with only slight use of his pinchy, nasal vocal style that one had come to either love or hate through the first few Living Death records. It's a curious shift, but ultimately underwhelming, and though the guitars are fill of fun and fiber, the production sounds like ass through the whole EP, like it's being spun through a wind-tunnel. The little guitar squeals characteristic of Fred's work sound like a bad attempt at commercial hard rock/metal, and the riffs are just never meaty nor catchy enough to function. Of the four tracks, "Cry for More" is likely the most exciting, sounding not unlike mid 80s Ozzy Osbourne, and the material grows progressively worse as you move along, with the lame "Dirty Dreams" biting off the famous AC/DC 'dirty deeds' motif, and the closer "Leave You Right Now" just utter shit.

Well, we all know who got the better of the deal when Living Death parted ways this year. Reiner and Dieter Kelch were at least able to release one more, respectable album in 1991's Killing In Action, whereas the mighty 'Toto' Bergmann's legacy ended here. I really can't picture what was going inside the members' heads at this time. Granted, they were always into the sounds of classic heavy/speed metal, hard rock and so forth, but how could this have been a good idea when the fan base was starving for their blistering, shrieking thrash metal? This EP is so pathetic that the band were inevitably embarrassed, so nothing more would come from it, which might be proof that there IS a God.

Verdict: Fail [2.5/10]

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