Imagine yourself standing in a beautiful meadow full of sunshine and golden flowers. The breeze is enough to knock the heat away but not enough to annoy you either. You are enjoying the serenity and the beautiful weather without a care in the world. Suddenly a large man in denim and leather runs up out of the blue and kicks you in the groin with his studded boot and then gives you a right hook to the face. While you lay in a stupefied heap on the ground bleeding from your ears, acid rain starts to come from a quickly darkening sky.
That’s how I feel about SACRIFICE’s latest album “The Ones I Condemn”.
Seriously, I don’t know where I have been on the updates in the last few months, but this new SACRIFICE album, their first in 16 years mind you, came out of the blue and just blindsided me. I have been following the band somewhat and I already have all their previous albums, but this one takes the cake. It’s a masterful Thrash record that blows a lot of their previous works away and gives a run for some of the other Thrash bands in 2009 (new and old).
Many fans of Thrash tend to find themselves stuck in an era where the late 80s and early 90s were a mecca of sorts for bands and they can’t find themselves moving away from those classic eras. I, for one, find that the late 00s have been just as good for Thrash as the first time round and SACRIFICE is evidence of this. This album is just as good, and in my opinion, better then some of their previous work. The slick and razor sharp production on “The Ones I Condemn” allows the band to really show how technical and relevant they are today. The mix and production do the band wonders on this album and it takes it to the next level.
Musically, the band is as sharp as ever. With its German aggressiveness and chaotic overall tonality, “The Ones I Condemn” is, like my analogy in the opening, a solid right hook to the face of pure Thrash intensity. The monster riffs, the lightning strike leads and solos, the energy explosive drumming, the harsh screaming, and even the underrated bass lines all create this experience of intense/chaotic/technical Thrash that many bands cannot compare themselves to. From the bass/drum intro on “We Will Prevail” to the somewhat more rhythmatic and plodding “The Great Wall” to the riff blazer “The Devil’s Martyr”, this album simply slays on every track and destroys what is left.
As a bonus, you also get two re-recorded tracks on the end of the album. These are pretty fucking sick with the new production and mix and any fans of SACRIFICE are going to seriously want these.
I just can’t praise “The Ones I Condemn” enough. If you are a Thrash fan then this is a must have and must listen as these guys decided to come out of nowhere and give some of the bigger Thrash releases this year a run for their money.
Songs to check out: “Ultimate Power Corrupts”, “The Ones I Condemn”, “Tetragrammaton”.
(Online September 29, 2009)