Sabbat - History of a Time to Come (Noise) 1988
1. "Intro" (2:00)
I recall vividly when this CD came out. I was in college at the time and a friend picked up this record. We were all enthralled with it. Sabbat were a technical, British thrash band with razor-like guitars, monster riffs, thrash breaks and piercing vocals. Together with the bands dark imagery, their music was quite compelling. For me the ride was over when I read through the lyrics as Sabbat were very anti-Christian. However, upon checking out the lyrics again, this CD is not so much anti-God as it is anti-hypocrisy and anti-religion. Unfortunately the band has some valid complaints again the church. For instance, "For Those Who Died" denounces the crimes of the Inquisition, while "The Church Bizarre" addresses greed and hypocrisy in the church. Still, lines like "you born-again Christians are born again fools..." is pretty insulting, even if it is true at times. Vocalist Martin Walkyier founded Skyclad after the demise of Sabbat. Guitarrist Andy Sneap went on to become the producer for many of today's best metal acts.
Sabbat - Dreamweaver-Reflection of Our Yesterday (Noise) 1989
1. "The Beginning
of the End Intro" (:35)
Sabbat is one of those bands that despite not having been together for decades, still have a cult following in the metal underground. Their "Dreamweaver" album is considered a cult classic. Many list it as one of the best progressive thrash metal albums ever recorded. I tend to find this album to be very complex, tedious and meticulous, yet at the same time, contains enough hook to hold my attention and keep me coming back for more. Each and every song is crammed full of dark metal riffing, shredding guitar solos and relentless aggression. Mixed into the madness are brief, melodic interludes that give the album added emotion and help convey the story the band is attempting to tell. Martin Walkyeir's vocals are gritty and thrashy, and remind me of another UK thrash band that was around at the same time called Seventh Angel. He spits out the lyrics in an almost rap-like matter with a punk aggression. It's hard to really pick a standout track on this album but if I had to I'd go with either the "Clerical Conspiracy" or "Do Dark Horses Dream of Nightmares". Both feature thick, crunchy guitar tones and enough riffs crammed into each song to give Dark Angel or Watchtower a run for their money.
"Dreamweaver - Reflection of Our Yesterday" is a concept album based on Brian Bates' "The Way of Wyrd." In a nutshell, the story line is about a young Christian missionary's journey to convert the pagan inhabitants of England. The lyrics are written in a poetic manner and while interesting, are not nearly as important as the music itself. I find with many concept albums that the storyline sometimes becomes more important than the music itself and that is not the case here.
Sabbat - Mourning has Broken (Noise) 1991
Despite being a huge fan of both speed and thrash metal for decades, and having heard the band's debut in college, "Mourning Has Broken" was my first real exposure to Sabbat. After reading the lyrics to their debut, I pretty much dismissed them until many years later when stumbling upon this CD. "Mourning Has Broken" was the band's third and last full length CD and features a different vocalist than the band's early material. I had read some bad reviews about this disc, but I can only assume that those people are on drugs because this CD is fantastic. This is pure speed metal. Everything about this CD rules, from the crunchy guitars, to the soaring clean vocals, to shredding guitar solos, to the variety in song tempos that includes everthing from blinding speed to melodic, melodramatic sections. Fans of bands like Toxik, Powermad, and Realm should do themselves a favor and find a copy of this CD. It absolutely annihilates. It was this CD that prompted me to go back and search out the band's first two albums.