The immortal Wino keeps the doom coming on The Obsessed’s newest record in 23 years, Sacred. This record is old school stoner metal for a new generation. The opening track “Sodden Jackal” has a slogging riff that trudges without relent. “Punk Crusher” is the second single off Sacred, which makes sense due to its accessibility. The fuzzy guitars and lively guitar leads have a 70s vibe, while the double drumming keeps the song on edge. The title track is a grooving slab of riffs and bass. Wino and company play in the pocket while occasionally leaping out for some mean guitar leads. The riffs ooze with dark psychedelia but the band never loses its rhythm. Things speed up on “Haywire” which clocks in before two-and-a-half minutes. Hardly filler, the track breaks up the sludge trail from the first third of the album, and gets the head bobbing. “It’s Only Money” is the funkiest track on the album but is slightly mired by the cheesy lyrics. A tale about the dangers of hard living and greed, Wino’s raspy vocal delivery is comical, and takes away from the song. However, the music is solid with a tight beat. The bonus track “On So Long” is the strongest track on the album. A nine-minute blues metal saga, the riffs drip with a melancholic passion, that conjures the spirit of Tony Iommi. The track does not saunter one bit despite its title and captures one’s attention until the journey has concluded.
Sacred is old school metal, and does not pretend to be anything else. The Obsessed is one of the most influential and copied bands in doom metal. Wino is a metal legend whose name is revered worldwide. Thus, the only pressure on him was to release a good record, which he did with ease here. The guitar riffs on this record take center stage, while the rhythm section propels them to greater heights. It is basic, no frills metal as one would expect. Sure, Sacred slips a bit in some places, but as a whole the album is solid.
Sacred will satisfy fans that have waited 23 years for a new Obsessed record. While metal continues to evolve and morph, one cannot deny the basics. Wino sticks to the fundamental elements of heavy metal and it works. Let us all bow at the Altar of Doom.
For news and tour dates, check out the band’s official website: https://www.theobsessedofficial.com/