“Since the incarnation of Sacred Leather, it has been this band’s mission to return the true essence of heavy metal to the masses.” – Dee Wrathchild, vocals
While time travel is merely a figment of the imagination, Sacred Leather’s brand of steely, raucous and pure metal straight out of 1983, is not. Brandishing leather and chains, rafter-reaching vocals and scorching solos, Sacred Leather represent heavy metal in its truest form on their first full-length album and debut Cruz Del Sur Music release, “Ultimate Force”.
The product of five metal banshees from the midwestern portion of the United States, Sacred Leather has spent the better part of their existence fine-tuning their live presentation while releasing a series of singles and splits in preparation for “Ultimate Force”. Written over the course of two years, “Ultimate Force” was recorded during the fall of 2017 at Earth Analog Studios in Tolono, Illinois, with additional sessions taking place at Beware Sounds and Clandestine Arts Recording in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mixing and mastering was handled by Sacred Leather lead guitarist Carloff Blitz at Clandestine Arts Recording shortly thereafter.
The result is a fierce blend of classic and thrash metal, fully capable of unleashing an all-out blitz (“Ultimate Force”, “Master Is Calling”), dealing mid-tempo bashers (“Watcher”, “Power Thrust”) and perhaps best of all, offering an epic, towering ballad in the form of “Dream Searcher”, which, according to lead vocalist Dee Wrathchild, is the most ambitious track on the record. “It’s centered around the theme of heartbreak. A man has lost his love and is only able to be reunited with her in his dreams. He is poised to suffer eternally in reality, but in the realm of sleep, he is able to revisit her.”
“The lyrical themes touch on everything from lust and love to life and death, as well as otherworldly/dystopian landscapes,” continues Wrathchild. “In its true form, heavy metal has always served as an escape from reality, whether it transports you to a fantasy world or a reprieve from everyday struggles – it’s very powerful. We feel that we’ve created a record that does exactly that for the listener.”
The album’s cover—created by bassist Magnus Legrand—features a panther navigating through a post-apocalyptic landscape. “This has always been a staple in Sacred Leather’s imagery: Iconography that provides a juxtaposition of alpha masculinity and stealthy feminine finesse,” notes Wrathchild. “The concept that Magnus created for the artwork of ‘Ultimate Force’ is meant to reference the idea of strength gained through adversity and it serves as a visual backdrop for the listening experience.”
Heavy metal with this kind of conviction is not to be taken lightly. On “Ultimate Force”, Sacred Leather brings the hammer and anvil, the silver and steel, magic and might, providing one of the most convincing representations of metal to be heard in 2018. “Heavy metal represents individualism in the face of conformity and an escape from reality,” concludes Wrathchild. “You can crank it up, bang your head, and you will always have thousands of brothers and sisters in heavy metal that connect with what they are hearing as much as you do. It’s timeless. It’s power. It’s the ‘Ultimate Force’.”
“Ultimate Force” will be released by Cruz Del Sur Music on compact disc, vinyl, limited vinyl and digital on Feb 23, 2018.