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Sacred Warrior, 'Wicked Generation' -- Album Review 

Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 12:01AM by Registered CommenterChristian Graus | Comments12 Comments

Let’s face it. Anyone who was alive in the 80s, and still is in to music, listens to bands now that they wrote off in the 80s. What is a hidden treasure today was often just dross at the time. So it is that I find myself searching for bands I "missed" to get my hit of 80s songwriting and production. Sure, lots of new bands recreate the 80s scene, but there’s something more authentic and cool about finding an obscure CD and giving it a spin.

There’s another dynamic going on in my case. As any regulars are probably aware, I am a Christian, and have my own website giving away my own Christian heavy metal songs ( www.jesusmetal.com.au ). So, when I travel the world for obscure bands, I am also interested to hear old Christian bands. There are definitely bands I love now, that I heard and hated in the 80s, both secular and Christian.

While doing some online reading, I read that Wicked Generation by Sacred Warrior was a must have album for any fan of Queensryche. I am used to such claims. Most Christian bands back then sold themselves as the "Godly" alternative to some mainstream band or another. Usually it’s all hot air, and the band simply fails to be original in any way, without ever coming close to the sound they were
aiming to copy. I always have a mental image of some poor kid in the Bible Belt being told that Dad burned his AC/DC tapes, because now he can listen to X-Sinner instead, it’s just as good. But, I digress.

So, I am reviewing Wicked Generation, by Sacred Warrior. I love Queensryche. I bought Operation: Mindcrime from a record club, having never heard of them, and played it non-stop for a year. I still love it. Seeing it live in it’s entirely is one of my favorite Rocklahoma memories (although not entirely for the right reasons, I admit).

Rey Parra is the singer in Sacred Warrior. Wicked Generation came out in 1990. Mindcrime came out in 1988 and Empire came out in 1990. I’ve been trying to work out a relationship between the names Rey Parra and Geoff Tate, because this CD sounds like it’s Queensryche, singing and playing the songs they rejected when working on Mindcrime.

It’s clear to me that these guys saw Mindcrime go massive, found a singer who sounded the same, copped the licks, and did everything they could to sound exactly like them. It’s really uncanny. Some of the songs are perhaps a little heavier than Queensryche, but the operatic Geoff Tate vocals are there, the proggy riffing is there, the slower choruses are there, it’s actually quite brilliant in its own, artistically bankrupt way.

The overall message as far as I can tell, is summed up in the quote in the booklet "they are not the children of Satan, they are who we make them." This seems to me like a response to the hysteria in the 80s over metal being satanic. I actually had someone ask me in church in 1989 if the music I played on guitar contained "that satanic beat that makes children kill themselves." I hope such ignorance died in the 80s. I’ve always felt that blaming metal was a hiding place for bad parents who couldn’t see that their kids ended up lost because their parents never related to them.

I am aware that, for reasons I don’t understand, some people hate Christian music because of the message in the lyrics, although I assume they listen to Guns n' Roses without participating in orgies or taking drugs, and may even listen to Slayer without worshiping the devil. However, if you’re not amongst that number, I honestly recommend this CD if you can get it cheap and like Queensryche. I think it’s a better Queensryche album than the last few they’ve put out, for sure. It’s certainly worth a giggle.

 


Reader Comments (12)

Love the fact that someone else out there has even heard of Sacred Warrior!!!! Great band and Wicked Generation is a fantastic album. However, I have to disagree with your statement of

"It’s clear to me that these guys saw Mindcrime go massive, found a singer who sounded the same, copped the licks, and did everything they could to sound exactly like them."

While it is definitely obvious who they were influenced by, Wicked Generation was their THIRD album. I would buy your argument if it was their first, but Rebellion and Master's Command both came out several years earlier. I actually believe Rebellion came out BEFORE Mindcrime.

If you have not heard either of the first two albums, definitely check them out, as I feel the music quality is even better. While the parallels to Queensryche is definitely there, I do think that Sacred Warrior is unique enough to stand on their own and not be considered just a Christian clone band.

Check em out...you will NOT be disappointed!!!!
June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
Hey Chuck. Thanks for the comments. I will check those out. I knew this was not their first album, but I had specifically read that this one sounded like QR and Mindcrime, which is why I set out to try it, and why I assumed it was the only one with the QR sound. I got some other good stuff, including a signed Bride CD, they are another Christian band who were actually really good.
June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Great Band... Don't let the term "Christian Metal" scare you away from this band. Yes it is true that Sacred Warrior are "Christian"... The songs do have some religion oriented undertones but the songs also can be appreciated as pure metal. The Queensryche comparisons can not be denied. I thing Sacred Warrior is a perfect mix of Queensryche and Barren Cross. In my opinion their "Rebellion" release is the highlight of their career. Sacred Warrior's debut "Rebellion" was released in 1988, the same year as "Mindcrime". "Rebellion" is a must own release. I know you can pick these up every now and then on Ebay... here is a link for "Rebellion": http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140560956787&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

Again... don't pass on this band because they are "Christian Metal". Sacred Warrior is worth checking out for sure. You can not go wrong with any of their 6 CDs... 6 studio, 1 Greatest Hits, and 1 Live.

Good to see that a few others remember this band.
June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterROCK-IT
Always up for a good QR clone (if it's from the good era), will definitely have to search this out. I don't necessarily care if a band is original, as long as they do a good job of "ripping off" (paying homage?) a band I like.

I'm not a Christian, but I really don't care if a band is if they have good tunes. I'm not a Satanist but still listen to Slayer, Therion and Hell, I don't believe in God but I love Narnia, Rob Rock and Theocracy.
June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJack
sounds like grimson glory. and thats not bad.
June 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterstrutter
Wow....Crimson Glory!!! There's a name I have not heard in a LONG LONG time!!!!

I am a big supporter of the Christian music scene and have found some real gems among the legions of stinkers out there. I think its just human nature to take the Christian bands and try to compare them to the secular bands:
Sacred Warrior = Queensryche
WhiteCross = Ratt
Barren Cross = Iron Maiden

I personally hate doing this as I feel that all of these bands can stand on their own as solid bands that play in the same sound as the counterpart bands.

I saw Bride open for Stryper back in the day. One of those bands that I loved on LP but didnt hold up well live. Maybe it was just an off night for them but I was super disappointed. But aside from that, super band!!!!

If you like a bit of the heavier stuff, check out a band called Deliverence. A bit heavier than the Sacred Warrior/Queensryche sound, but an absolutely fantastic album (their self titled debut was their best if you ask me)
June 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
Killer to see these names mentioned. I LOVE Sacred Warrior, and Bride. Bride's singer is the best singer most people have never heard of. He's unbelievable. I saw them open for Whitecross, and were amazing. That "Snakes in the Playground" is a stellar album.
June 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermetaldozer
I listened to a lot of Bride again yesterday, and I agree, they were awesome. Other bands I loved were Messiah Prophet, and, especially, the Resurrection Band/Rez ( whom I also saw live ). I also have a couple of CDs from a band called Vengeance Rising, who were super heavy and super fast. They were hilarious !!!
June 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Before they were Vengeance Rising, they were just Vengeance. Their first album is amazing. Human Sacrifice and Burn Satan Burn are incredible tracks. Listen for the audio mixing glitch at around 2:21 of Burn Satan Burn. Whoever the sound tech was really screwed up!!!!

I only have the first Messiah Prophet album but it is also fantastic.

For more of a melodic rock sound, check out It's a Jungle Out There by Mastodon (not the newer hard-core band) and the self titled Bloodgood album. Oz Fox has actually been playing with Bloodgood recently. They have always been fantastic. My personal favorite is still WhiteCross. Their debut is one of my "desert island" CDs.
June 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
OH MY GOD SACRED WARRIOR!!!!! I have Master's Command on cassette and play it at Franciscan all the time on the radio!! Good Stuff Rock On!!!!
June 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
that wasnt too bad actually - never really got the point of the term christian metal - always stayed well clear of anything that gave itself that name.
June 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter$kwint
If anyone likes Progressive Metal and missed out out on SACRED WARRIOR then they missed out on something speacial. I reason I say that is because SACRED WARRIOR was the first Christian Progressive Metal bands. They did sound a little like Queensrych but there was more to them then that. I've heard people complain about there music and sound from album to album. Now the only studio albums that can be counted here are the that they recorded on Intense Records; Rebelion, Masters Command, Wicked Generation & Obsessions. If you lession to them all from the 1st through to the 4th abums you hear how the band did progress and get better. Rebelion is not my favoret. Its good and it did come out a year before Queensrych releised Operation Mindcrime, but its not there best. I may say that now but back when the album came out at first I didn't like it. But the more I lissened to it the more I liked it. But the sound production could have been better. Masters Command was a lot better, sound and production really stands out. Wicked Generation however the production and sound was pour. It. shows off how the band bwas progressing but the album sounded.like a demo. Obsessions in my book was SACRED WARRIOR's best, there finest. The sound and production was at its best. SACRED WARRIOR Was and stillis an awesome Prog-Metal band. And just to thing they was the first real Christian Metal band.
February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDANIEL JOHNSON

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