Sacred Steel - Reborn In Steel
Metal Blade
Power/Speed Metal
10 songs (44:26)
Release year: 1997
Metal Blade
Reviewed by Crims
Archive review

Reborn In Steel was Sacred Steel’s first foray into the full-length department and though it is their weakest CD in just about every aspect, it still has something to offer for Sacred Steel fans. As some of you know I grossly disagree with my fellow colleagues on the validity of Sacred Steel so I felt it was time for a review of Sacred Steel from a fan of the band.

As one might guess from an opening song title such as, Metal Reigns Supreme, Sacred Steel is full of cheese and is out to destroy posers. Sound familiar? Indeed, some lyrics on here would make even Manowar blush, but I personally enjoy the lyrics. You have some songs that praise Metal and others are about battle, victory, and all things medieval. They’re by no means lyrical mastery, but I like them, mostly because they are fun and full of energy. The actual music is sort of a raw Power/Speed Metal sound that is mixed with some Thrash (would be more pronounced on later releases). The production is a little muted and the guitars are quite dirty… still clear enough to hear everything, but it’s a lot more raw than you typical crystal clean production Power Metal band. Likewise, in the classic 80’s fashion, every instrument is audible from the ride cymbal, to the bass guitar, to the pounding double bass. The actual music is very guitar driven as well. There are no keyboards to be found anywhere and there aren’t really any secondary melodic leads over the riffs. Only pure, semi-Thrash/Power Metal riffs are found on Reborn In Steel, most of which are played quite fast. Of course, 75 percent of this CD is filled with double bass and fast drumming with choppy guitars, but some nice variation is thrown in with songs like Sword Of The King and Kill The Deceiver. The former is almost progressive in nature as the first half is a slow, darker than usual song. I would not call it a ballad, but it’s definitely plodding. However, Sword Of The King eventually builds up to a fast song that has two distinct and very different sections that are both awesome. Sword of the King demonstrates clever, if not somewhat commonplace song writing found throughout the CD. Other songs feature a mixture of the fast sections with a slow or mid-paced break here and there, while Battle Angel is somewhat different all together. This song is sort of in between fast and mid-paced, and has an interesting rhythm structure that you don’t hear Sacred Steel use too often.

I’d say overall that the music is decently executed. Every band member has a good skill level and there are some memorable riffs (the verse of Purified By Pain for example) and good guitar solos are woven into the songs throughout. The solos won’t win any awards for technical prowess, but they tend to fit the mood and rhythm of the song very well, and in the end I’d rather have that than someone playing a technical solo, just for the sake of it being technical. The production is flawed, as I alluded to, and lacks the power and forcefulness of later Sacred Steel releases. As for the vocals: Gerrit P. Mutz uses a high-pitched singing style that is absent of any kind of vibrato or technical ability as found in some other well known Power Metal singers. You sort of have to hear it for yourself and it’s definitely not for everyone. I’ll be the first to admit that he isn’t that good of a singer especially on this CD, but maybe it’s because I’ve gotten use to it over time, but Mutz just has a certain delivery and style that says, “this is Sacred Steel” and not a thousand other Power Metal bands. How would they sound with a singer that has a similar skill level as say, Michael Kiske or Geoff Tate? It’s a simple answer actually; they wouldn’t sound like Sacred Steel anymore and while they probably would appeal to more people, that’s not what the band is about. They obviously have a high passion for Metal and if you don’t like them, they don’t care, and thus I have to respect that. They live to play, what is in their mind, no frills, in your face Metal, and they achieve that in my opinion.

Sure, there is nothing overly amazing or fantastical about Reborn In Steel, but what Sacred Steel do, they do well and thus a pleasing CD is present despite the faults. Every song has a highlight or two, that is obvious to me, but not every track is solid from beginning to end. Just look at the title track, which has an excellent verse and pre-chorus, but has an actual chorus that is kind of generic and boring. Song for song it’s not even close to being as strong as their other releases, but if you were to make a list of Sacred Steel’s best songs, perhaps three from Reborn In Steel would appear, most notably for their excellent riffs and catchy vocals that overcome the weak production (Metal Reigns Supreme, Purified By Pain, and In The Mouth Of Madness). In the end you should try before you buy because the vocals you’re either going to hate or like. If you can look past the vocals and are looking for a more aggressive and Thrashier take on HammerFall or Manowar feel-good, destroy posers Metal, check these guys out. I do however only recommend this release for fans of the band, new comers get Wargods Of Metal first as the song writing, production, and musicianship is superior on that release.

Killing Songs :
Metal Reigns Supreme, True Force Of Iron Glory, Purified By Pain, Sword Of The King, In The Mouth Of Madness
Crims quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Sacred Steel that we have reviewed:
Sacred Steel - Heavy Metal Sacrifice reviewed by Andy and quoted 65 / 100
Sacred Steel - Hammer Of Destruction reviewed by Crims and quoted 82 / 100
Sacred Steel - Iron Blessings reviewed by Brent and quoted 40 / 100
Sacred Steel - Bloodlust reviewed by Danny and quoted 40 / 100
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