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Released: 2016, Self Released
Long-time Zandelle vocalist George Tsalikis has put together his first solo album, offered up to fans as THE SACRIFICE. Tsalikis wrote all the music and plays most of the instruments on the album with the help of about half a dozen guest musicians. THE SACRFICE is a concept album tackling the eternal theme of good versus evil, in this case the ever popular vampire. It is a standard trope of metal, and while Tsalikis does not offer any unique additions to this storyline, he does not flame out either. The lyrics are at times quite painful, as evidenced on the otherwise stout opener, “Chapter 1: World Of Darkness.” This track quickly reveals Tsalikis’s still considerable vocal range, an old-school guitar tone, and a nice marching chug rooted in 80s underground metal.
One of the cool things about this album is the many unconventional vocal melodies from the guests and Tsalikis on this album. It is not as inventive or catchy as say John Arch’s groundbreaking work on those early Fates Warning albums, but there are some truly distinctive voices on display. The music, by contrast, adequately serves its purpose of supporting Tsaliki, rooted in the sounds of traditional B grade metal of a Vicious Rumors/Medieval Steel variety. “The Vixen” is one of several tunes that features female vocals to help move the storyline of the doomed love interest.
Overall there are some simple and decent riffs on the album but mostly this is not delivered with enough aggression or energy, the old school guitar tones not accompanied with the attitude needed to compensate for the lack of force in the sound. At 53 minutes, THE SACRIFICE simply does not have enough good songs to warrant the album’s length. The potential is there, but the songs are not of a high enough caliber to match the ambition. While Tsaliki’s first solo album is not a disaster, there is plenty of room for improvement, and at this point there is absolutely no need for him to quit his day job with Zandelle.
1. Chapter 1: World of Darkness 2. Chapter 2: Of My Dreams
3. Chapter 3: The Vixen
4. Chapter 4: The Vampire's Promise
5. Chapter 5: Taken
6. Chapter 6: Declaration
7. Chapter 7: The Confrontation 8. Chapter 8 (part 1): Inner Struggle
9. Chapter 8 (part 2): With Friends Like These
10. Chapter 9: Victimized
11. Chapter 10: The Hero's Lament
George Tsalikis - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, accoustic guitar, bass, keyboards, piano
Mike Paradine – drums
Richie Blackwood – lead guitars Alanna Dachille – vocals
Ryan Taylor – vocals
Caitlin Rose Scarpa – vocals
Don Manzo – vocals
Kristen Keim – vocals
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