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Sacred Leather: Ultimate Force
Sacred Leather - Ultimate Force CD Album Review

Sacred Leather: Ultimate Force

Heavy Metal
4.5/5.0

Some 40 years ago, Judas Priest dropped their fifth studio album Killing Machine, which included the song Hell Bent For Leather. Warping forward, Indiana's Sacred Leather revisits those hallowed days of leather and studs by bringing classic "keep it true" heavy metal to the present. After a serious of singles and a cassette EP, the band delivers their first full-length studio album, Ultimate Force.

Sacred Leather Band Photo

Sacred Leather

The analogy to Judas Priest couldn't be more applicable to Sacred Leather, musically speaking that is. Vocalist Dee Wrathchild (you read that right, the band members all have crazy stage names) doesn't sound anything like Rob Halford. But with the twin guitar harmony, killer leads, brisk pacing, and inherent rhythm and groove, Sacred Leather definitely mimics Judas Priest in the best possible sense. Said another way, with those aforementioned characteristics firmly in place, Sacred Leather simply takes the best of what makes classic heavy metal enduring and ageless, brings it forward to today.

And Ultimate Force delivers the heavy metal goods. Excepting perhaps one, all the songs are killer, loaded with brisk riffage and an abundance of bristling guitar solos. Sacred Leather is characteristically a guitar-centered band, and Watcher, Power Thrust, Ultimate Force, and Prowling Sinner are definitive by example. As for Wrathchild, he seems a typical heavy metal singer, but his strength and presence are muted in the mix. (Never let a guitarist do the mixing and mastering.) As for the exception, it was the metal anthem Dream Searcher. At more than eight minutes, I never felt it got started, or off to a good start. Sure it reached a crescendo with some awesome solos, but you're dragged along the way to get there. Nevertheless, Sacred Leather is the real deal and Ultimate Force is a monument to the twin guitar fury of classic, keep it true, heavy metal. Easily recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Sacred Leather is the real deal and Ultimate Force is a monument to the twin guitar fury of classic, keep it true, heavy metal. Easily recommended.

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