Review Summary: A fairly digestible offering of speed/thrash with progressive leanings.
Sacral Rage is one of the prime examples of how a band can use their influences and come up with something that is not unique, but still very distinctive and highly interesting. The Greeks play an adventurous brand of speed/thrash metal with a sci-fi theme that, instrumentally, owes a lot to Watchtower and Annihilator. In addition, the high-pitched vocals will bring King Diamond to your mind, not only because of the singer’s piercing screams but also his phrasing which reminds the Danish legend. Speaking of vocals, this is one of the points where this LP differs compared to the band’s debut. They are more restrained and varied, which is one of the reasons that make this album a more immediate listen and easier to jam repeatedly compared to the Athenians’ debut. Another reason is that these guys have allowed their ‘70s prog rock influences to show even more in their songwriting, which is evident in the album’s closer; a 15-minute epic with several twists and turns, “The Glass” is equally Vektor and Rush. Actually, this track brought Terminal Redux’s
“Recharging the Void” to my mind in terms of creating something so ambitious while being extreme at the same time.
Overall, Beyond Celestial Echoes
features more prog rock guitar leads and, dare I say, better melodies and choruses than the band’s debut which makes the offering equally appealing to traditional metal fans. This, however, doesn’t mean that this is a chorus-driven album, as you will find an array of memorable riffs from the Jeff Waters playbook. However, where this release really succeeds, is in creating a very convincing and cinematic futuristic experience which is further enhanced by the excellent production that allows the necessary space for each instrument. Lastly, the reasonable running time combined with the great flow make up for a fairly easy album to digest by one of Greece’s most outstanding metal acts currently.