Long considered as one of the premier metal bands out of the Asian continent (along with Singapore's Abhorer
), none of the prior Sabbat
material managed to attract me, not until their most recent full length album, Sabbat
rinity, with the appreciation of Sabbat
's material coming about along with my appreciation of other Gezol-related projects, such as Metalucifer
8 years after their previous full length album, 2003's Karmargmassacre, it is definitely a relief for long time fans of the band to hear that the band has not let them down with the material on the new album, sticking to the well-tested and proven formula that they have crafted over the years, and there is no slowing down or stopping the band as the album opens without any hesitation with Black Metal Scythe
. The band's straightforward black/thrash metal has managed to enchant listeners over the years, and it is easy to see why with Sabbat
rinity. Song after song, there are catchy hooks throughout, and Gezol's gruff and barbaric take on the English language makes songs even more sincere and authentic, and all instances of mispronounced words are forgiven, and it does not take long for listeners to shout along with Gezol on choruses of songs like Total Destruction
of Ultimate Evil
and Witch's Torches (version 1).
The punchy basslines of Gezol are also extremely prominent throughout, and sees Gezol using his instrument to play more than a rhythmic role, at times taking over the leads as well like on Witch Hammers with the 2 bass guitar solos, along with the vocal duties that he has to handle. Damiazell's guitar solos are also well thought out, melodic yet not sacrificing any of the technical edge (like those on Total Destruction
, or any other track on Sabbat
rinity for that matter), and the rhythmic sections are sharp and precise, making the guitars one of the key features on the album.
Also, the band has stuck to the style that they have created since their beginnings in the 1980s, and this is especially prominent in the production quality of the album, with a label that come with some of versions of the album, warning listeners that this album has been done with "no digital compression", and displays the band playing their style of black/thrash metal in its purest form. The tone of all instruments on the album are organic, unlike the synthetic and over-produced metal albums of late, showing that it does not take a polished production job to produce an album that is a classic in its own rights. The inclusion of different versions of Witch's Torches also makes sure that the die-hard fans go out there to collect all different versions of the album, and while it might have resulted in me calling other bands money-grubbers, for the quality of Sabbat
's songs, it certainly is worth the effort and money, hunting the 2 different versions down.
Albums like Karmargmassacre and Satanasword
were often considered too raw and primitive to my then-untrained and inexperienced ears, but having encountered Sabbat
rinity, any such prior impressions are gone, and this attitude of sticking to the roots is precisely what makes Sabbat
have such a charm over old-school metalheads, and their reputation as Japan's answer to black/thrash metal legends, Venom
, and playing heavy metal loud and proud in 2011 as if it were 1980