Rob Thorne - Sacred Oath
Sacred Oath represents the blessed sacrament of choice, balancing between darkness and light. In life, one embraces the Crystal Vision, while enduring the Sacred Dawn. Once darkness is made visible, all good things are brought into the light. Two power mettle minds joined over the phone - myself - and guitarist/vocalist - Rob Thorne. We focused on the forthcoming new self-titled release by Sacred Oath; while also talking about the new line-up, the enduring qualities of the band, and the future to come.
MettleAngel: Hey there Brother, how are you today? I am so grateful that you created the time to call me. You are the Master of the Sacred Oath.
MettleAngel: Yes, definitely, I have all of your releases, except - 'Till Death Do Us Part - Live In Germany CD. That was recorded at the Keep It True Festival in November 2007. I even have my original cassette of Crystal Vision on Mercenary Records. I was very fortunate to find the actual CD of this, a few years later at Camelot Records, for real cheap. It was brand new in a long box of plastic, so you could see the CD.
MettleAngel: When Denis Gulbey of Sentinel Steel Records re-issued Crystal Vision on CD, with killer packaging, and bonus tracks, I purchased this version, as well. Actually, I never did find the Meanstreak - Roadkill on CD, just cassette. They were also on Mercenary.
MettleAngel: So, what it with this Crystal Re-vision (Official Bootleg)? I have this, as well.
MettleAngel: Everything Denis put out on his label was high quality. I purchased the majority of those releases. So was it because of those bonus tracks, that inspired you to just release the Crystal Re-vision CD?
MettleAngel: I'm well aware, and it comes in a sleeve, with different artwork than the Mercenary and Sentinel Steel versions.
MettleAngel: My friend actually gave this to me as a Christmas present. I had introduced him to the band, and he surprised me with this version.
MettleAngel: He knew I was a fan, and wanted to award me with something special. I have a few mettle friends who like to do this, which is so damn cool. He bought Darkness Visible before, I was able to get it. I was not floored by this album initially, but now I really celebrate and treasure it. There is such a strong Maiden / Priest vibe, as well as Rush and Metallica. Recently, I just discovered your band - Soundscape - through their My Space. I assumed they would be too progressive for my taste; but, I enjoyed those songs, as well. I can detect a strong John Arch era Fates Warning feel, along with classic Queensrÿche and Rush influences.
MettleAngel: Honestly, I was disappointed overall with Mindcrime II. I respect the sincerity, and honest intent behind American Soldier, but without Mike Stone on guitar, the songs just fall flat. They have devolved back into that Tribe/Q2K sound.
MettleAngel: This is why Sacred Oath are the elite, as far as being True US Classic Power Metal. The new album is awesome! I am so grateful that you sent me the digipak! I've played it with lyrics, and I assert that it is your best work yet. It is such a strong blend of the old, with the new. All the Classic Metal elements are there, with a more updated, mature sound. This new S/T release and new Total Eclipse - Spellcaster - are two of the finest examples of quality metal being distributed.
MettleAngel: I'm really impressed with the songs which Bill wrote for the new album. They have a different feel, altogether. A song like - Mistress Of The Setting Sun - demonstrates the progression for this band.
MettleAngel: My digipak includes 14 songs. There will be ten on the jewel case edition, arranged in a different order. I feel the songs flow well. Your singing is excellent. You still have the falsetto, but not the piercing shrill. Your enunciations fit the reverberations. Already, I have a few new songs playing in my head.
MettleAngel: Lyrically, the dualistic "Two Powers" theme remains in tact. The light / dark elements still persist with the subject matter focusing on war, corruption, oppression, and personal choice.
MettleAngel: I consider myself to be an info maniac, I love to learn about new things. I hunger for the noetic truth. I'm reading this new book on gnostic philosophy, which is awesome, and so illuminating. Organized religion, and dogmatic tradition is pure bunk and B$!
MettleAngel: That is why the songs are longer, and more in-depth lyrically and musically. With Sacred Oath, the dualistic nature also pervades in the music. There are slow parts, which then become really fast. I assumed that - What The Dark Will Undo - was going to be a ballad, but then it really picks up, and crushes. I'm grateful that there is finally a song called - Sacred Oath. The song - Caught In The Arc - is killer, too!
MettleAngel: I understand that you are doing a video for - Counting Zeros.
MettleAngel: Yeah, that is strange, but I am grateful you opted to keep it! Tell me more about this I-Tunes promotional deal.
MettleAngel: That is awesome! I'm telling all my friends and contacts about this.
MettleAngel: Well, you definitely deserve this!
MettleAngel: I can identify with that, we are both stuck in the '80s.
MettleAngel: That is so cool to hear. I'd love to see Sacred Oath sold in Hot Topic.
MettleAngel: I love the manner in which you sing. I like my vocals clear, and my music melodic and memorable. Those very hair bands I dismissed in the '80's as being too glam, like Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Europe, or TNT, I now enjoy more than the newer successful American acts. Have you seen the line-up for Rocklahoma with Twisted Sister, Icon, and Keel?
MettleAngel: I was too, I always mocked the Headgivers Ballers in the '80s. They were all concerned with chicks, drugs, and making fast money, so they could get more chicks and drugs. When I met my wife Wendy, I dismissed the bands she enjoyed like Slaughter, and Warrant. I only listened to Slaughter from Canada and Warrant from Germany. I would quote the Chicago band Thrust, "Tonight's the night...the Posers will die!" Or MX Machine's - No Glam Fags!
MettleAngel: Man, I would have loved to have seen and heard that. So elaborate on this "Two Powers" concept. You use those terms on every album. Even the artwork on Crystal Vision (Re-Vision) embraces this "As Above, So Below" mystical concept. It is evident with the early logo positioning the angel above the demon. The Sentinel Steel cover has an image with the Arthurian dragons in a circle, devouring one another in an alchemical portrait.
MettleAngel: The new album artwork, is divorced of all this mythic imagery, and more simplistic. Johannes who painted the classic Fates Warning album covers did the artwork with its "Aces High" pilot in cockpit, during war concept.
MettleAngel: Which is as I previously alluded to the updated, more mature, re-awakened, re-vitalized - Sacred Oath sound of the present.
MettleAngel: I can truly envision this, because you do it all on your own - you are you own boss, and consequently, your own worse critic. There is no overarching obligation for you to perform. You do it because it is what you love. You strive to create the best mettle imaginable. Since you own Angel Thorn Productions, you have complete control. This is why I willingly champion all your endeavours, and noble efforts.
MettleAngel: These vicissitudes are normal. Your emotions are tell tale signs of whether you are connected, or not with the source of all that is.
MettleAngel: This is why the music you create is so sincere. There is such passion and intensity in every song. The new album is so vivid, connected, presently powerful, and inspirational. Even the packaging and layout is professional.
MettleAngel: Honestly I don't know how you pull it all off. I commend you for your motivation. In addition to the music, you are a father of two daughters, and you have a new child on the way.
MettleAngel: My wife is the same way, she keeps me sane, while handling all the major concerns. Our son is almost six, and he is a handful, a total ball of never ending energy.
MettleAngel: Well, I'm truly confident that you have the mettle and might to accomplish this. I'll support you in any manner I am able. I'll be reviewing the new album next month.