Sacred Mother Tongue – Out Of The Darkness

Sacred Mother Tongue Album Cover

Sacred Mother Tongue is a 4-piece British metal band, initially formed in 2004. Out Of The Darkness is their fourth studio release, following Revenge Is Personal in 2007, The Ruin of Man in 2009, and A Light Shines… (an EP) in 2012.

Out Of The Darkness is a good studio album with bright production. Songs are well-crafted, with both a searing guitar lead and a nice harmony backup line. It’s not all ‘straight groove’ thrash – it’s much more modern ‘rock & roll’ then that. It varies between a ‘modern melodic thrash’ and something in a Queensryche type vein. The mood is pretty consistent: melodic, dark, modern, and aggressive. There’s enough variety to avoid any stagnation. It’s not a whirlwind blur over and over again, and doesn’t fall in to the genre trap of ‘sameness’. What is quite likable about this 11-tune offering is that it forges ahead and creates it’s own path.

Tunes are presented as the straightforward ‘rock arrangement’: vocals, guitar, bass guitar, drums. They’ve got a killer thrash aggression going, underneath all the flourish, harmony, and rock stuff. One thing you’ll really appreciate on this album is the variation in accents, i.e. some syncopation, some variation in tempo. Samples from a 1976 classic movie are woven in to a couple of tunes. Album closer “Believe” ends with a gentle, gradual acoustic-type fade out. So the album ‘comes in like a lion, leaves like a lamb’: like a fresh breath of springtime air.

Sacred Mother Tongue’s vocalist Darrin South has a nice, ‘clean singing’ vocal that fits his tunes and presentation well. There’s a lot of rock & roll singing: full-bodied vocal tunes built equally around guitarist Andy James, and South. These aren’t instrumentals. The guitar seems well balanced to the vocal, but it’s so aggressive that some of the more delicate parts of South’s range or delivery (which is okay) are lost. Lyrics on the deeply personal vocal lines are clearly enunciated. With just a couple of listens, you can get many of the consistently-themed lyrics committed to memory. And holy speeding guitar solos, Batman! You can go through your Crazy Guitar Checklist, and here James has put much of it on show: clean and abrasive picking, light speed hand-buster licks in spades (~ the second solo in “Evolve/Become” sounds straight out of the Paul Gilbert solobook), melody, harmony, sparse use of tasteful effects, and enough flash to make half of the community say something like “I quit, I’m not playing guitar anymore, I’ll never be that good”. It’s not too dissonant.

Sacred Mother Tongue Band Photo

The album would benefit from some punchiness or depth. For all of the ferocity in the ‘leading’ instruments – vocal and guitar – the backline ought to be equally notable. There is a nice mellow, short bass guitar break in “Pawn”, but for the most part it’s not a bass-forward album. In the less-accessible, more technical metal, the fast double-bass drumming doesn’t raise eyebrows much anymore; some variety to the fills would be appreciated. The overall texture is one of technicality rather then one of heavy hitting bash-your-head-in metal. If this is deliberate, the band has done a fantastic job of delivering it with consistency.

Following the release of their acclaimed EP A Light Shines…, is this new Out Of The Darkness, a good, melodic metal album that rages forward with a crisp, pounding attack. It’s worth quite a few listens. Fortunately, it’s easy to aurally assimilate: you can let your mind wander, and the music works it’s way into your stream of consciousness. There’s plenty of room to innovate within extreme metal, if you’re an innovator. A trailblazer is needed, and we’ve fortunately stumbled into such a creature with Sacred Mother Tongue.

Track listing with Run times:
Demons — 5:04
Bird In Hand — 4:04
Seven — 4:41
Pawn — 4:34
Bleeding Out — 4:23
A Light Will Shine — 4:27
The City Is Crying — 4:29
Just A Ride — 4:16
Evolve/Become — 4:01
Believe — 5:11

Band Lineup:
Darrin South (Vocals)
Andy James (Guitar)
Josh Gurner (Bass Guitar)
Lee Newell (Drums)

Official Band Website
Official Band Facebook Page
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Official Band YouTube Channel

About Iris North

My formal position is: editor and music reviewer. I joined the PlanetMosh army in 2012. I enjoy extreme metal, 'shred' guitar, hard rock, prog rock, punk, and... silly pop music!