Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sabbat - Born By Evil Blood (1987)

For those who aren't familiar with music from beyond the western world, Sabbat is a Black Metal band from Japan. They began under the moniker of Evil, before changing their name and, ultimately, their musical style. Born By Evil Blood is the group's second E.P. and was released in 1987. What can be found here is ugly and filthy Black/Thrash that is sure to appeal to fans of Venom, Bathory and especially the bands from the Brazilian scene of the mid-to-late 80s.

It all begins with "Satanic Rites", an mid-paced intro that takes the listener right into a blackened pit filled with the rotting corpses of feeble posers. The tone is ugly as hell, being very muddy and bass-heavy. This rumbling gives the feeling that your skull is being beaten with a blunt instrument. Yet underneath this murkiness, there is a clear talent for songwriting and musicianship. This definitely hearkens back to the earlier part of the decade, for the most part.

"Curdle the Blood" picks up the speed and intensity, and displays a real no-nonsense approach. The riffs violently tear through your mind, and the vocals are quite horrific. Gezol seems to have been influenced by the early Destruction material, to an extent. While the song is fast-paced, for the most part, there is a slower section in the middle that is somewhat reminiscent of old Sepultura.

The next song is "Poison Child", which is also rather high-speed, though somehow maintains more of an upbeat feeling than the previous track. Some of the riffs that are present here would not have been out of place on the first Exodus record. That really characterizes this as being much more Thrash than Black. There is a killer solo that appears near the middle of the song, followed by a change that helps to showcase a level of musical maturity that one might not expect from the cover art.

Born By Evil Blood is a very enjoyable E.P. for those that want raw and primal Black/Thrash from the 80s. The only complaint here would be that the release is too short and that the band made everyone wait several more years before recording a full-length album. While nothing on here can compare to the evil feeling of songs like "King of Hell", from 1991's Envenom, it was a very good start.