Sunday, 24 March 2019

Envenom

Artist: Sabbat
Genre: Black / Thrash Metal
Origin: Japan
Year: 1991
Label: Evil Records

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The debut album by a very old Japanese band, which has been exercising anti-religious lyrics since the mid-eighties, almost at the same time with all the US / German masters. Sabbat has a series of awesome EPs from that period, which sound more like thrash but in imagery and text, they could easily fit the first wave of black metal and what influenced later bands.

During the nineties, the black / thrash elements became more apparent and they have been going until today. They also have a vast, vast discography, with countless mini releases, multiple in number per year.

Envenom is the first full work of Sabbat, released in 1991 by Evil Records, which is Gezol's (the band's vocalist / bassist) label. The guy is a true metal maniac and has been paid tribute by no other than Darkthrone, since their track "I Am The Graves of the 80's" refers to him. 

There is a certain transparency in Sabbat's music and the old school, dirty thrash sound is glorified through the cheesy - devilish tracks in Envenom. The vocals are relatively harsh and speed metal is ongoing.

The version I have is the re-release from Iron Pegasus records in 2016, which I think is also their current label. It comes with an old interview from that time (I think around 1990) which is awesome to read. Later, it was re-released again by Nuclear War. Primitive music played honestly, and this was proven by the steadiness of Sabbat all these years.

It was not the first piece I listened by them and I have mostly spent time around their 80s - 90s stuff, and not the rest, which are a lot. Envenom has a great production (listen to the drums), and a variety of interesting moments in its tracks.

Synths are used in "Bewitch", and "Reminiscent Bell", which give an almost space ambient kind of feeling, different from the 100% old school, filthy of the rest of the record. All songs kick ass. 

The band had a series of good albums in that decade and offered to me some of the best black / thrash I have ever heard. Favorites are "Reek of Cremation", "Eviler", "Devil Worship" and "King of Hell". 

Track listing:
1. Bewitch
2. The Sixth Candle
3. Satan Bless You
4. Evil Nations
5. Devil Worship
6. Reek of Cremation
7. Deathtemptation (Kanashibari Part 2)
8. King of Hell
9. Eviler
10. Carcassvoice
11. Dead March
12. Reminiscent Bells

Listen on Bandcamp

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Deathmanicvs revelation


Artist: Skelethal
Genre: Old School Death Metal
Origin: France
Year: 2014
Label: Iron Bonehead Records

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The first serious release after a demo and a split from this French band, which is very much into the non-modern side of death metal.

While I just enjoy it musically, above all are the vocals and the good guitar solos in this release. In 2014, they released another notable EP, named Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity. They are not perfect, as the tracks feature some awesome moments of great riffing, but there are filler moments too.

I believe Skelethal lost their way later, and their debut full length was a disappointment for me, as it had some good tunes but the sound completely ruined it for me. That's why I listen to this and the other EP whenever I come back to them.

From the awesome artwork, to the back picture of the band itself, this LP was worth it and the release is a product of good and proper death metal thinking.

Bought this vinyl from the excellent Floga Records store, which continues today with many unique and underground releases at fair prices. I have it since it was released, so it's been five years now.

There is an overall issue with Skelethal's sound. If they fix that and some minor compositional parts, they will be one of the best of old school death today.


Side A
1. Intro
2. Macabre Oblivion
3. Putrefaction
4. Deathmanicvs Revelation

Side B
5. Curse of the Neverending
6. Death Returns
7. A Violation of Something Sacred (Sacrilege cover)

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Listen on Youtube