Rob Thorne - Sacred Oath
Sacred Oath are currently working on new material with their original line-up from over 25 years ago, but until that album is released next year, Oathbangers will want to pick up 'Spells And Incantations: The Best Of Sacred Oath' due out in May.
As is my honour and privilege, I was graced with the talent of Rob Thorne (Rob Volpintesta) vocalist and guitarist extraordinaire. As our two powers became entwined in the arc of the coveted conversation another crystal revision was elucidated and acknowledged, making the darkness more visible.
So come heed the message for the mettle children of the light and all who swear by the Sacred Oath.
MettleAngel: Hey Rob, it is so great to
touch base with you again, and discuss your new 'Spells And Incantations:
The Best Of Sacred Oath' release. I have included an excerpt of the press
release for this interview: "Sacred Oath - the American power
metal pioneers who made their debut back in 1987 on Mercenary Records
- will release a 'Best Of' compilation album celebrating their 25-year
history exclusively with iTunes May 15th. The CD digipak will be made
available worldwide on their Angel Thorne Music Label through Super D
distribution two weeks later on May 29th. Sacred Oath is also selling
a limited number of signed copies directly through their websites".
MettleAngel: I was very surprised with the song selections for the collection. I noticed that you favoured 'Darkness Visible', and leaned more on the newer material, rather than provide more cuts from 'A Crystal Vision' ('Crystal Re-Vision').
MettleAngel: I can understand why you chose to do this as the newer material is far superior. What went into the selection process for picking the tracks? Did you converse with older as well as newer members, or was it perhaps fan generated?
MettleAngel: I can only imagine...
MettleAngel: Wow, "Calm Before the Storm" was a popular choice?
MettleAngel: I was quite surprised, however, to realize that you did not include the amazing song "Sacred Oath". I guess that just did not make the cut! What is your favourite Sacred Oath release to date?
MettleAngel: That is my favourite Sacred Oath release, as well, especially the digipak version with the exclusive track listing. I have, unfortunately, never seen the band live but are the songs from the new compilation the ones which are most commonly represented in a live setting? If not what "Hits" do you always play?
MettleAngel: You never play "World On Fire" live, now that does surprise me! I think it is awesome that you included two new tracks on the new 'Best Of'. I was amazed how crushing and brutal the song "Posers Must Die" is. What inspired this song? Are you doing all the harsh vocals? I have to admit when I first opened the CD, and saw the song title, I briefly wondered if you had perhaps chosen to cover the song by Thrust from Chicago.
MettleAngel: Oh, I did not even realize he was back with the band.
MettleAngel: Oh I agree!
MettleAngel: I am not exactly sure, but I do know the song by Thrust very well, ever since I heard it on "Metal Shop" in 1984. Speaking of covers, the band has not ever included one on any of your CD releases. If you were to pick one or two to perform, what would be your choice? Do you ever do any covers live?
MettleAngel: Man, I would love to hear you do a Mercyful Fate cover, perhaps even "The Oath" or 'Dangerous Meeting".
MettleAngel: Well, maybe on your next album you can record a Mercyful Fate cover. Your vocals are most befitting to attempt this. I have always been a fan of your amazing vocal range, what do you do to keep your voice in good working order? Do you ever have difficulty reaching those high octaves?
MettleAngel: So the secret is to rest your mind, body, and of course, your precious voice?
MettleAngel: Yes I do, even though I only have just the one, but with him being autistic, that is challenging enough.
MettleAngel: Have you ever been approached by other labels like say Pure Steel to license Sacred Oath material, perhaps pressing it on vinyl?
MettleAngel: That is reassuring. I would love to track down those vinyl pressings, as well. Tell me a bit about your own label on which you have released most of the Sacred Oath material. How did you get this started, and what do you do to keep it vibrant?
MettleAngel: It seems like all that hard work and effort has truly paid off for you in the long run.
MettleAngel: I respect that you are your own boss, and your own worst critic. A few years ago you sent me a promo CD of your other progressive band called Soundscape. The album I have is called 'Grave New World'. Have you recorded another album with them recently, or is Sacred Oath now your main priority?
MettleAngel: How disheartening! I really like the album, and I am not a huge advocate of Progressive Metal; although Steel Assassin does a killer cover of "Red Sector A" on their new CD - 'WWII: Metal Of Honor'.
MettleAngel: Well, maybe after reading this interview a fellow Oathbanger may want to check them out?
MettleAngel: Amen! Rob, you are a very talented musician, but what is your favourite instrument to play? I know you also do all the recording in your studio for your band. Have you ever considered signing any other fledgling acts to your label, and producing them?
MettleAngel: I assumed that your students were vocal advocates, but now I realize that you teach guitar, as well.
MettleAngel: I can understand that...
MettleAngel: Sure I can, as we never want to pigeonhole ourselves or our talents.
MettleAngel: Fair enough. I missed you when you performed at "Ragnarokkr" last year, and unfortunately, I will not be able to go this year to see so many great acts like Wizard, Virgin Steele, Blacksmith, Brocas Helm, etc. What other festivals are you playing this year?
MettleAngel: Wow, I thought for sure you would be playing some Euro Festivals, at least.
MettleAngel: Well that explains that to which you alluded earlier. Maybe then next year after you release the new album you can consider playing a US festival like "Warriors Of Metal" who this year will feature Manilla Road, and my friends in Exxplorer, Helstar, and Benedictum.
MettleAngel: I can only imagine! What is the current line-up of the band as it stands to this day? It is still the same members who played on 'World On Fire'? Is this the line-up who recorded the two new songs for 'The Best Of Sacred Oath?
MettleAngel: Was not "Wings Of Salvation" previously released as an exclusive download last year as a benefit for something? If so, please elucidate more on this point.
MettleAngel: Well that clarifies things a bit. Is there anything else that you would like to add? I am looking forward to viewing your retrospective video for "Blood Storm" at YouTube.
MettleAngel: Well if we are all here, and the world is not on fire, then I swear by the Sacred Oath that I will prepare and embrace the 'Fallen'!