The first chapter in the career of this British Stoner Metal band is more than promising: it’s a lesson in heavy and gripping music.
After listening to Chapter 1 : A Long Time Coming, the debut studio album by British Stoner Rock/Metal band Profane And The Sacred, there was only one question that came across my mind: how not to bang my head while enjoying a cold beer to the music triggered by those guys? Seriously, they’re not kidding when they describe their sound as “hard heavy gigantic grooves”, and they will certainly make you feel all that energy flowing through your ears directly into your body and soul with this album.
Formed in 2010 and based in London, UK, Profane And The Sacred were capable of combining the best you can find in bands such as Down, Crowbar, Black Sabbath, Karma to Burn and many other distinguished Rock N’ Roll groups in a compelling and robust way. As you will notice, all songs surpass the 5-minute barrier, but that doesn’t mean they’re too progressive, tedious or anything like that. Quite the contrary, each and every song has tons of interesting elements to offer the listener, strengthened by huge doses of professionalism and feeling, and therefore keeping you hooked on Chapter 1 : A Long Time Coming from start to finish.
In the opening track, Bench, we are already able to experience a puissant Stoner Rock atmosphere brought forth by the dark riffs by lead singer/guitarist Luke Alleeson and guitarist Rick Spooner, with highlights to the beautiful guitar solos at the end of the song. However, do not go too crazy with this excellent tune and save some of your energy for what’s about to come: Bleed That Stone is not only a lot more metallic than its predecessor (thanks in part to the intense beats by drummer Kieran Smith), with its last minute or so sounding like a “tribute” to Down and Crowbar so good it is, but also Luke’s voice fits the musicality flawlessly while bassist Rob Taylor smashes his four-string weapon, making the song even tougher and more enjoyable.
Moreover, if there’s one thing this band knows how to do is filling every single second of their music with solidity and depth. For instance, You Know adventures into even more Crowbar-ish lines, with Luke declaiming the song’s “cute” lyrics while the other band members keep kickin’ ass with their more-than-ruthless Sludge Metal; whereas Weather The Storm focuses on 100% old school Stoner Rock, with kudos to Rob for his melodic and soulful bass solo. An even higher level of dynamism is found in the amazing From The Top, the first single of the album, which is basically what all of us want to hear in Stoner Metal: badass drumming and low-tuned riffs accompanied by realistic and introspective lyrics.
Then we have All For None, which showcases another great performance by Rob and Kieran and some interesting shifts from faster beats to a much slower and sludgier rhythm (and vice-versa) without sounding mechanic or disconnected at all, followed by another good tune entitled Just A Little, where Luke complements the song’s vile riffs, breaks and variations with his unique vocal lines. Finally, one of the best tracks of the entire album, Words, which flirts with more traditional Heavy Metal, is so extraordinary I bet you’ll start air mimicking either the riffs, drums or at least start singing the lyrics with them. It’s a spectacular Rock N’ Roll/Stoner Metal anthem, with the fine tuning of both guitars being beyond splendid. There’s also a smooth instrumental track to close the album, A New Leaf, which invites you to close your eyes and relax to the sound of its acoustic guitars, as simple as that.
You can find more information about Profane And The Sacred on their official Facebook page, YouTube and Instagram, as well as purchase their music on Amazon, iTunes and Cargo Records. Chapter 1 : A Long Time Coming is an invaluable lesson in Stoner Metal, so to speak, and I cannot wait for more of their gripping music in a near future (maybe a “chapter 2” album) to make my beer even more delightful.
Best moments of the album: Bleed That Stone, From The Top and Words.
Worst moments of the album: A New Leaf.
Released in 2015 Cargo Records
1. Bench 8:13
2. Bleed That Stone 5:42
3. You Know 7:24
4. Weather The Storm 7:25
5. From The Top 5:01
6. All For None 5:39
7. Just A Little 6:57
8. Words 7:24
9. A New Leaf 5:31
Luke Alleeson – vocals, guitars
Rick Spooner – guitars
Rob Taylor – bass guitar
Kieran Smith – drums