The Obsessed – “Sacred”
After more than 20 years The Obsessed, a band that should need no introduction, has finally graced us with the follow up to 1994’s “The Church Within”. Being a longtime fan of this band, I could not be more pleased. After having come to terms many years ago, that The Obsessed as a band were no more, I could find much solace in many of Scott “Wino” Weinrich’s other projects. However, the Obsessed always held much more of a personal charm for me. I never thought it would come to pass, but in 2016 when Wino announced the reformation of The Obsessed, as well as an upcoming studio album, I knew in my heart that I would not be disappointed with the results. The Obsessed are one of those rare bands that never disappoint. If you enjoy any album they have ever put out, it brings me much joy to inform you that this album is no exception.
Now, in 2017 we finally have “Sacred”, which stands as a monumental testament to what The Obsessed are all about. Everything the listener ever enjoyed about any song they’ve ever performed will find it in abundance on “Sacred”. Scott “Wino” Weinrich – Guitar/Vocals, delivers his soulful yet leather lunged vocal style in a way that only he can. His guitar tone and style can say more with one note than legions of other guitarist could while shredding their fingers off. While Mr. Weinrich has been the sole constant member of The Obsessed throughout their nearly 40-year on-again-off-again existence, a plethora of other musicians have aided the formation of that trademark Obsessed sound and style. On this release, we have the titanic rhythm section of Dave Sherman – Bass/Vocals, and Brian Constantino on Drums/Vocals. Who to their credit, are a masterful addition to the pantheon of musicians who have performed the rhythm section duties throughout the band’s history. Their individual styles combined with Wino’s masterful touch propel the essence of this come back release to new heights. The production on “Sacred” is very crisp, as well as bottom heavy, which accentuates those slow, churning, rock-hard riffs we have all come to expect from an album by The Obsessed.
The albums opener “Sodden Jackal”, which is in fact a very early song from their career, rips through your speakers, sounding better than it ever has. Having only existed in demo format prior to this release, it is great to finally hear this song given a proper production.
The second track “Punk Crusher” is a fist pounding rock anthem, which proves that even after 20 years, The Obsessed will still kick your fucking ass. The album’s title track brings us a career performance of Wino’s unequivocal guitar style. Any fan of fuzz or doom will have their heart and ears smiling with this one. A truly beautiful song, indeed. “Haywire” is an arena rock masterpiece in a style that only The Obsessed can successfully execute, thematically bringing us visions of the freedom of the open road while, escaping a world that has lost its god damn mind. “Perseverance of Futility” follows, which is my personal favorite. Everything anyone has ever loved about this band will be found in massive, chunky quantities here. This track will more than likely inspire the listener to review the band’s entire discography, thus reminding us just how amazing and furthermore, criminally underrated this band has always been. The next track “It’s Only Money”, a cover of an old Thin Lizzy track, has new life breathed into it, while remaining very true to the original.
Coming now to “Cold Blood”, an instrumental that speaks volumes through music alone. Lyrics would simply prove redundant. The next opus, “Stranger Things” is an almost radio friendly chunk of rock goodness, conveying a powerful, epic at times, feeling very reminiscent of late 80’s hair metal masterpieces. Which brings us to “Razor Wire” a track that will have you singing along and moving right from the start. This track is among many on the album that plain and simply rock. Moving on, “My Daughter, My Sons”, is a track with a healthy dose of Wino’s style of deeply personal lyrics accompanied with that raw, musical emotion The Obsessed are known for.
There aren’t many songs like this these days, where the emotions of both music and the lyrics are combined to such a masterful degree that you are genuinely emotionally moved by it. “Be the Night” follows, a simple yet highly effective rocker, painting a rather dark picture, lyrically speaking. A hard-nosed tale of tragedy, revenge, and not giving a fuck. This masterwork of an album is concluded by “Interlude”, an all too short teaser of a track. Though lacking in lyrics, its one lone riff swaggers beautifully, until fading away to nothing.
Overall, this album is incredible. It is The Obsessed at their absolute finest. Any longtime fan of the band will be moist with delight at the entirety of “Sacred”. This comeback release further solidifies them as true doom rock legends. I certainly anticipate their fan base to increase with this album. I’m sure Relapse Records will do a much better job of promoting this iconic band than Columbia did back in 1994. Hopefully with that, will also come the long overdue recognition and respect that The Obsessed truly deserve.
Hailing from Franklin, Ohio, Grim has been writing reviews for Fuzz FM since April 12, 2017