Towers of Gold is great. You can summarize this review that easily. In fact, it’s going to be the album of the year, and not just on my list but on many others as well. But let’s take a closer look at this epic journey by epic Greeks Sacred Outcry. As we roam through lands forgotten, it starts in an old inn, the drunken revelry interrupted by a sagely old man who promises riches to the man who can find the towers of gold. The revelers confer all night, then set sail. The premise is great, but if you’re familiar with Damned For All Time - the band’s first album from 2020 - you’ll realize the story will take a tragic turn. The story is told not only through Daniel Heiman’s phenomenal vocals, but through the very much alive, very breathing instrumentals. Heiman isn’t the only new face. In fact, only founder and bassist George Apalodimas remains from the first album. Alongside we find guitarist Steve Lado and drummer Defkalion Dimos. Together they make this epic, fantastic tragedy come to life, painted in vivid strokes of epic power metal and traditional heavy metal.
Now in fact, the first album was such a smash I found it implausible the guys would be able to match it. I have now been served the fat dinner that is my own words. In my sheer stupidity I considered the last time Heiman replaced Yannis Papadopoulos in a Greek epic metal band and thought the same would happen here. The fact is that Towers of Gold not only matches, but surpasses not only its predecessor but the vast majority of albums in the genre released recently. We start off with a couple uplifting metal anthems, the band showing off with some mind numbing antics in The Flame Rekindled with its powerful riffing and phenomenal chorus. Darkness creeps up as the album progresses, coming to a pinnacle in the flawless The Sweet Wine of Betrayal with its DeMaio-esque bass from Apalodimas and creeping atmosphere which culminates with our narrator betraying his crewmates and killing them in their sleep, to find the towers of gold on his own. Still it’s all very atmospheric, melodic; epic.
Heiman. The man’s voice has aged better than a fine wine and the man brings the tragic tale alive in a magic fashion. His work recently with Dimhav was mighty, powerful stuff, and he continues in the same vein here, but maybe even goes a step further; his powerful shouts contrasted by the darker tones of slower The Sweet Wine of Betrayal (which in itself shows his incredible range!) and parts of the title track. Complimented by stellar musicianship and songwriting, powerful riffing and solos from Lado and a powerful production there’s really nothing about this album that warrants complaint. Nothing at all. It just keeps getting better with each listen, as I discover new nuances and moments of pure dedication turned to magic. Towers of Gold will be loved by fans of traditional European metal, fans of epic American metal and fans of soaring European power metal alike, bridging and marrying the best of each style in a marriage of dark, melodic riffing and powerful vocals. With time, it will be one of the all time greats.
Standout tracks: The whole damn thing, but if I have to pick, right now The Sweet Wine of Betrayal is my fave