Reign Of Terror, The - Sacred Ground

Year of Release: 2001
Label: SPV USA
Catalog Number: 41532
Format: CD
Total Time: 63:18:00

Reign Of TerrorThe Reign Of Terror is the name of a Joe Stump band that saw the light of day with the debut release Light In The Sky in 1995 [as Joe Stump's Reign Of Terror]. That album was followed in 1997 by Second Coming. Both albums where first released in Japan only and later in Europe. Joe Stump is a very well known guitar virtuoso who acts as head guitar tutor in the metal/rock sector at the Berkley College of Music.

The latest release, titled Sacred Ground, is the end result of the teamwork between Joe Stump and vocalist Mike Vescera, who did not sing on the first two releases. Mike is better known for his work with Loudness, Malmsteen and Killing Machine to name but a few. The rhythm section consists of Mat Surfield (drums) and Jay Rigney (bass) both of the progressive metal band Event, and to conclude the line-up, keys were handled by Mats Olausson of Ark and Malmsteen fame.

The music is clearly guitar orientated neo-classic/speed metal with some of the finest guitar riffing and soloing you'll hear in the shredding category. When listening to this disc as a band release, you'll get bored very quickly with the never-ending fiddling, shredding and hacking. The songs are not strong or versatile and everything here seems based around Joe's guitar work. Mike's vocal range has some shortcomings which doesn't help to improve the diversity (or lack of it) in the individual songs. Nearly all of the tracks have a similar strength, which makes it hard to nominate any outstanding ones here. I would like to give this album two different scores

7 as is for an average band release with average songs

9 for the incredible performance Joe delivers on this release.

Anyone out there who experiences orgasmic spasms by listening to egoistic guitar wanking (Malmsteen fans) is right on the nail with The Reign of Terror, but if good song writing and diverse music is what you're looking for, be aware and have a good listen to Sacred Ground before parting with your hard earned currencies.

By the way, not to be confused with the Death Metal band of the same name (minus the Joe Stump part, of course) -ed.

Also released by Limb Music Products (LMP 0104-028)

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Save Me (5:03) / Sacred Ground (5:20) / The Unknown (6:27) / Paginini's Purgatory (3:03)* / Set Us Free (4:02) / When Will We Know (7:26) / Last Time (5:39) / Undercover (4:56) / Hellbound (4:51) / Dante's Danza* (4:12) / Still Holding On (7:26) / Kill The King (4:25)

Joe Stump - guitars
Michael Vecera - vocals
Jay Rigney - bass
Matt Scurfield - drums

Joe Stump's Reign Of Terror - Light In The Sky (1995)
Joe Stump's Reign Of Terror - The Second Coming (1997)
Sacred Ground (2001)
Conquer And Divide (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: January 31st 2005
Reviewer: Peter Fundeis
Artist website:
Hits: 945
Language: english


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