Sadus has got to be a band of mystery for me. For the people who swore their lives for Bay Area thrash they are, of course, legendary. Yet, I doubt many list them alongside Exodus, Metallica, Megadeth and Testament. Even relative second tiers, like Vio-lence and Death Angel, have, perhaps, made more splash having released less albums. Members of Cannibal Corpse wear Sadus shirts in their latest band picture giving the band the obvious nod, however, commercial success has completely eluded Sadus, its name even missing from such “sources” as McIver’s “Extreme Metal” and Popoff’s “The Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal”. The band features high school mates, first the quartet and then the trio being together since 1984. With that, I can guarantee that you know Sadus bandmembers more due to their involvement with other bands, Jon Allen drumming for Dragonlord, but mostly Steve DiGiorgio, the well-known bassist, playing in Death, Testament and Iced Earth.
I do not want to put myself above the fray and claim I hang onto Sadus every note ever released. I only own Vision of Misery and can not say that I am in particular awe of that album, it gets rare airplay in my music world. Out for Blood will surely change a lot of my preconceived Sadus notions, so your recommendations on the best gems from the band’s back catalog are most welcome.
Out for Blood features gobs of explosive driven thrash interspersed with technical death metal. This approach provides to satisfy a broad variety of tastes. It will please someone who enjoys a delicate melody, gratify those who need to headbang and convince those who marvel at awesome display of technical skills.
For example, the title track has it all, it is both the highlight and microcosm of the album. Tight militaristic march intro, fast melodious thrash explosion, technical slowdown in the outro. There are songs on Out for Blood that are simply all-out speedy thrash attacks (look for Sick if you are in desperate need for a racetrack soundtrack). Just don’t expect this all-out speed all the time. There is slower, more modern, Panterish stomping Down with its Hells Bells riffing or slower, almost creepy, Lost It All. Somebody on Sadus is definitely into a Mid-Eastern motif, with obvious melodies and even sitar making an appearance in Smackdown, Freedom and Cursed. The closer Crazy, featuring Testament’s Chuck Billy, has a definite doomy death feel, found on many latest Immolation records. No More, on the other hand, goes way out of whack, its menacing chords playing alongside obvious bubbling synthesizers.
Technical complexity or not, the skill display is always made to be a part of the song’s fabric, whether it is Jon’s rolling drums on Cursed, or guitar solo on Smackdown. While technical, current Sadus is quite rich on attitude, some of it most obvious through Darren Travis’ vocals. This is where the nasty factor is revealed, Darren’s voice being very snarly, recoiling onto himself in anger. Some songs (title track) feature very timely background death vocals.
Juan Urteaga (Vile) has been dabbling with recording duties for a while now and does an excellent job with Out for Blood. This is so clearly produced you will be able to hear every guitar and bass string pluck, sometimes leaving you wondering how they can survive the pounding without being ripped from their foundations (In the Name of …, Freak).
If it takes almost complete lack of commercial recognition to release good metal albums, then I am almost forced to wish that to Sadus. Out for Blood is one excellent example how true metal warriors can have the spirit burning for over 20 years.
Killing Songs :
In the Name of ..., Out for Blood, Sick
|Alex quoted 85 / 100|
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