Sabbat - Dreamweaver (Reflections Of Our Yesterdays)
Noise Records
Thrash Metal
9 songs (44:06)
Release year: 1989
Sabbat, Noise Records
Reviewed by Goat

Following up a debut album as awesome as History Of A Time To Come would be a hard task for many a Thrash band, but it says much for Sabbat that they were capable; not just to produce a second full-length up to the standards of their Classic first, but in many ways to surpass it. Dreamweaver is several stages more sophisticated than its bludgeoning predecessor, the riffs and songwriting becoming more technical and twisted - it takes a good few listens to 'get', as before, but once you've grown used to Sabbat's violent sound the steps forward taken here are simply amazing. Based around Brian Bates' novel The Way Of The Wyrd, Dreamweaver is a concept album dealing with the eye-opening religious journey of a missionary who tries to convert the pagan natives of the British Isles to Christianity, and it's full of wonderful lyrics from Walkyier as those who know him have come to expect. Of course, his harsh vocals are the main pull (you will need a lyric sheet to truly appreciate the writing) and he spits out the words at a speed that makes Tom Araya look positively leaden.

The main draw for most of the people reading, however, will be the music itself, and a perfect example of Thrash Metal it is. The addition of second guitarist Simon Jones made for a faster, heavier, tighter sound apparent from first track proper The Clerical Conspiracy, which carries on the sound of History... before switching suddenly into the acoustic and clean-sung Advent Of Insanity, a great shift in tone which forecasts Skyclad's Folk-imbued sound and portrays the missionary's sea journey wonderfully. Of course, it's back to the Thrash soon after, Do Dark Horses Dream Of Nightmares? just one epic structure of headbanging joy that will please any Metalhead on multiple levels. I'm always amazed by the sheer intensity of this music, but the colossal volume of riffs is outstanding too. If ever you listened to a Thrash album and thought 'hm, this is all very well, but I wish they'd use more riffs' then this is the album for you - Andy Sneap and Simon Jones are a stellar partnership. The eight-minute long How Have The Mighty Fallen? is especially ahead of its time, heavy and technical, burning with intensity and is a darn sight more prog than most of the better-known Thrash bands were releasing at the time.

Sabbat are a band for the connoisseur, without a doubt. If you discovered Thrash through a modern band, then you're headed for a fascinating experience, and should look for irony-heavy 80s references elsewhere - Sabbat's Paganism marks them out from their peers instantaneously, as does Walkyier's unique voice. They're certainly the best Thrash that England has to offer, and to my mind are superior to many bands releasing albums at the time and before - 1989 may have been past Thrash's prime, but there were still bands releasing excellent material (Sepultura's Beneath The Remains, for example) that would see the advent of the 90s in style. Sabbat themselves nearly imploded shortly after Dreamweaver's release, Walkyier and Sneap tugging in different directions with the resulting departure of the former leading to a third, less brilliant album before Sabbat called it a day, and the formation of Folk Metal with the wonderful Skyclad. Although Sabbat have reformed for live dates and are being cagey about a new album, I'd be willing to bet that it's nowhere near the quality of this - a simply fantastic piece of Thrash Metal that deserves to be given its rightful place in the Thrash pantheon in the year of its twentieth anniversary. Some will prefer the more classic Thrash sound of History Of A Time To Come, but I think more will agree with me that this is the superior album - better technically, musically and in Metal terms, a CLASSIC in every way.

Killing Songs :
The Clerical Conspiracy, Do Dark Horses Dream Of Nightmares?, The Best Of Enemies, How Have The Mighty Fallen?, Wildfire, Mythistory
Goat quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Sabbat that we have reviewed:
Sabbat - History Of A Time To Come reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
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