After a four year hiatus, progressive metal band Section A returns with their third album, Sacrifice. The core members of Andy Engberg (ex-Lion's Share) on vocals and Torben Enevoldsen (Acacia Avenue, Fatal Force) on guitar remain. Filling out the band is new drummer Thomas Heintzelmann (Decoy), with keyboard work supplied by Lasse Finbraten of Circus Maximus. Like their previous works Sacrifice reflects the attributes of its principal members. Engberg is a true heavy metal vocalist, offering range and versatility without spoiling the music with unnecessary or incidental trips down the road of modern hardcore vocals. Guitarist Enevoldsen's guitar work thrills, varying between simple efficiency and majestic fret forays.
While this will comfort long time fans, Sacrifice departs slightly from Section A's progressive roots. Instead, this work delivers more melodic heavy metal. From the opening solo of Sacrifice to the closing strains of The City is Falling, Sacrifice is driving heavy metal, nearing power metal at times thanks to Heintzelmann's vigorous bass drumming. This is even more apparent on Land of the Desert Sun, a song mixing milder moments with a driving rhythm section. For some real melodic hooks Lionheart and Intoxicated satisfy, with the latter evidence of Sacrifice's more heavy style. Yet, this heavier melodic metal style may prove a stumbling block for some listeners who, after a single spin, might find this work to be full-length sonic redundancy. The edge of metal remains, but it's not tempered with the progressive nuances which made previous Section A releases quite dramatic. Nevertheless, Section A's new movement to massive heavier melodic metal on Sacrifice resonates with energy and enthusiasm. Recommended!