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Sabbat – “Envenom” – [Evil Dead Productions]


Sabbat, from Kuwana, Japan, were one of the first Black Metal bands to come out of Asia– and they’ve been playing their unique brand of old school Black/Thrash (in the spirit of bands like Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Sacrifice, Destruction etc.) since 1983. Based on their longevity it could be argued that Sabbat is not just an important Asian Metal band but an important part of the early Thrash scene in general. After a string of EPs and demos, they released this debut album in 1991. By this time, they had added a more distinct extreme metal edge to their classic sound, incorporating harsh demonic vocals and death metal melodies alongside hypnotic 80s-style guitar harmonies. There are non-growled vocals here too, including a punky yelp on t.9 and some very bizarre falsetto on t.10. The lyrical themes dwell on traditional Satanic imagery, which begs the question: how many Christians are there in Japan, anyway? This 2014 reissue on a Malaysian label includes six bonus tracks at the end. T. 13, from 1990′s ‘Sabbatical Demon’ demo, is a chance to hear the band’s earlier, less crushing sound; t.14-18, meanwhile, are a tight but obviously alcohol-drenched live set recorded May 23rd, 1993 in Tokyo. For the album material they are a quartet (i.e. they have a second guitarist), for the other tracks they are a trio. T.s 1,2, 11+12 are instrumentals. Can’t go wrong with any of the original album tracks because ‘Envenom’ is a masterpiece. Oh yeah, and Sabbat played at KFJC in October 2013, too.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on April 23, 2014 at 4:51 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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