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The Reign of Terror
Sacred Ground
July 2001
Released: 2001, Limb Music / SPV
Rating: 4.2/5
Reviewer: Rick

The Reign of Terror has been around for a few years going under the moniker Joe Stump’s Reign of Terror. They have released their latest Cd SACRED GROUND, shortened the name to The Reign of Terror and added a new vocalist in the person of Michael Vescera who has provided the pipes for Loudness and Yngwie Malmsteen. Of course guitar wizard Joe Stump is still the main man behind The Reign of Terror and this time he, along with Vescera , has created an album that greatly surpasses the previous Reign of Terror releases. Berklee School of Music instructor Stump is also joined on this CD by school alumni Jay Rigney on bass, Matt Scurfield on drums and Mats Olaussen (Yngwie Malmsteen) on the keys. Scurfield and Rigney are also members of the progressive metal band Event who were reviewed here in Metal Rules!! in the last few months. Obviously this is a talented group of musicians.

Stump and company shred their way through 11 originals on SACRED GROUND plus a cover of the classic Rainbow track "Kill The King". "Save Me" kicks off the release with one of the albums strongest tracks. This is a scorcher which will have your head banging as soon as the first notes are played. The Reign of Terror are out to prove that they mean business right from the get go. The tempo is slowed down for "The Unknown". Vescera is given opportunity to shine on this track as does Stump with one awesome but tasteful solo. Probably my favourite song on the album. The first of 2 guitar solos is up next with "Paginini’s Purgatory". This is just Joe Stump shredding on electric guitar. This song along with the later acoustic instrumental "Danta’s Danza" are bonus tracks on the CD for North America and Europe. "Set Us Free" kicks it into high gear again before things are again slowed down for the 7 minute "When Will We Know". This song highlights the guitar playing of Joe Stump. This guy is incredible. On "Undercover" Stump’s Ritchie Blackmore influence shines through as this song has a great Rainbowish sound.The Cd is closed out by The Reign of Terror cover of "Kill The King" by Rainbow. Stump always includes a cover by one of his heroes hence the Rainbow cover. They do a fantastic job too. Pretty true to the original.

I had head the previous Reign of Terror album SECOND COMING previous to receiving SACRED GROUND. It was a good CD but it lacked something. Now I know what it is. Brian Troch was a good singer but Mike Vescera is one of the best and he fits perfectly with the style of powermetal that Stump plays. These guys fit together perfectly and the product speaks for itself. This is one great CD. Check out Joe’s site at
Track Listing






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» Sacred Ground
by Rick

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