Album Reviews

Sonic Altar – No Sacrifice Review

Released By : Self-Released

Genre : Heavy Metal

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Kane Bennett – Vocals

Dave Hudson – Guitars

Tom Duffy – Guitars

Daniel Kilhams – Bass

Chris Hulbert – Drums




01. Tears For The Fallen

02. Window Of Time

03. The Guardian

04. Desert Of Despair

05. In The Night

06. Mercy

07. The Shadow

08. A Year In The Flames

09. Holy Suicide

10. Welcome To The Dream

11. The Underground

12. Children Of The Lost


For a bunch of young upstarts from New Zealand, SONIC ALTAR certainly did enough to impress me with this; their debut album NO SACRIFICE. The album sits somewhere in between traditional heavy/power metal and melodic hard rock, giving it a bit of an IRON MAIDEN meets LILLIAN AXE vibe. This particular fact may be the albums strongest point and is definitely a sound worth building a foundation out of.

The overall mid-pace of most of these songs does give off an interesting vibe, but I don’t think it would have hurt to explore the slightly pacier heavy metal elements a little bit more just to give the record a bit of gusto.  Tracks like TEARS OF THE FALLEN, WELCOME TO THE DREAM and WINDOW OF TIME set a great feel, but in-between those tracks there’s just a couple too many that stay to much of a similar course. The middle album ballad MERCY is done with extreme class and does a good job of breaking things up a little, but one again I think it could have been more beneficial to follow it with something that has a little more guts than the rest of the album, just to help bring things back into focus.

Nothing to complain about aurally or sonically here though; the musicianship is fantastic, the vocals are excellent and the production is pretty amazing too. Getting someone like UK based producer Mike Exeter (Black Sabbath, Cradle Of Filth, Glenn Hughes) was likely an expensive move, but when you can shop around a debut that sounds as full and professional as this it’s gotta be worth every penny.

Given the newness of the band, and the youth of the members, there’s plenty of time for this band to finesse their sound, so who knows what they will be capable of in one or two album’s time. NO SACRIFICE may suffer slightly due to the pacing getting a little repetitive, but it’s certainly good enough to gather some interest from record labels. If you are curious as to hear what might have happened if IRON MAIDEN ever released a Melodic Rock album then it’s definitely worth checking out. New Zealanders should all be getting behind this group, as success usually starts by dominating your homeland. But as an Aussie, if these guys get any better, I might just have to claim them as one of ours.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 8/10

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