When Doncaster-based rockers Blame The Sacred released their debut EP Life or Death in 2018 they marked themselves out as a band to watch. The original members Danny Porter (vocals), Andy Wordsworth (guitar) and Scott Emery (drums) were subsequently joined in 2019 by Kriss Rayner on guitar and Wez Gill on bass, and the new line up soon released a tantalising taster of their abilities in the form of ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ – a single that hinted at exciting things to come.
The band have now released their latest EP, The Path, and it does not disappoint. The opening instrumentals on ‘Intro Piece’ create a moody prelude that soon segues into ‘I Walk Alone’, introducing a determined guitar riff which powerfully expands, before Porter’s commanding vocals kick in. There’s great structure to this track, with a mid-song break in the vocals allowing a brief pause in the rhythm before the momentum builds once again to reach a crescendo.
‘Hollow Ground’ is altogether a slower and gentler piece, but no less powerful for it. In this track the band exhibit a sound that immediately reminds me of Swedish rockers Opeth and their distinctive fusion of metal and prog rock. At six minutes in length, the song is given the space it needs to breathe and gradually grow into a piece of depth and beauty, with some outstanding guitar-work on display as we approach the climax.
With ‘Home’ the pace shifts again, with punchy instrumentals and lyrics as the driving force behind a track that demands to be headbanged to. As the track nears its end, Blame The Sacred again skilfully weave together the instrumental elements to build into something much, much bigger.
The driving riffs carry forward into ‘Six Shots of Hate’, a ballsy number that I’d love to see performed live. The underlying beat carries elements reminiscent of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’, before Porter’s compelling vocals demand your attention. The track switches in pace and tone to create a multi-layered gem that reveals new elements on each replaying.
The EP draws to a close with ‘Statim Finis’ (“the end is near”), another short but effective instrumental track that neatly mirrors ‘Intro Piece’ to bookend the album.
The Path is a bold and confident album that effectively showcases Blame The Sacred’s skills as songwriters and performers. The complexity of the tracks reflects their growing maturity as musicians, and reinforces the view that this is indeed a band to watch. Highly recommended.
The Path is released on 27 March 2020 via Forge AMP.