Sacred Ground - A World In Ruins

Sacred Ground are from Ireland and originally released part of their full length debut as a demo, but after some cleanup and extension, rounded it out to a complete CD. As a result, one has a mix of death metal, black metal, and metalcore. It is a harsh marriage between the mainstream sound of Killswitch Engage and the demented twisted atmospheres of a band like Krieg. Overall though, it sounds a lot more metalcore than anything else. Much of the music is thick and chugging with melody laced in between such as on tracks like "Pleading For Change." The vocals are the only thing that's really black metal about it, or blackened death metal at that... along the lines of Goatwhore. The music is what is really metalcore; every chugging riff and monotonous drum moment (which is usually buried in the music), is present in the tracks. That doesn't leave much room for variation, but it is still enjoyable. "Under a Burning Sky" is haunting the way the melody weaves along and doesn't seem as chuggy as the other tracks while "Relenetless" is more groove infused. It still chugs a lot with the rhythm, but the drums are much more audible and the beat is a fantastic headbang march. It is one of the top tracks for sure!

Of course, a lot of the music also sounds the same too. "The Swarm" sounds a lot like "Pleading For Change" and "Scar Tissue" is a bit too slow and chuggingly moody like "State Of Humanity." The latter, however, is much more enjoyable because of its groove laden pace and momentary pauses between riffs so it doesn't feel as rushed or hectic. The vocals may burn out on the earhole because they tend to same in the same tone... which is a grim scream or deep, throaty bark. However, the dynamics of this debut album cannot be ignored. Fans of deathcore mixed with metalcore will probably enjoy this the most. It isn't revolutionary, but it is very enjoyable for a debut album. It seems, compared to their demo, that they already had everything in place as far as they wanted to go with sound and style, they just needed more tracks. And fortunately, the tracks are just useless fillers either. The groove metal additions are a real plus, and hopefully the band will continue to add that in with their future work.

  1. In The Ruins
  2. The Swarm
  3. Under a Burning Sky
  4. Lost For Eternity
  5. Pleading For Change
  6. Souless
  7. State of Humanity
  8. Relentless
  9. Scar Tissue

Self released
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Oct 13, 2010

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