When names are dropped regarding the astounding explosion of Thrash Metal circa 1986, names such as DARK ANGEL, SLAYER and KREATOR are cited as being on the more wicked and extreme side of fence, their respective releases of that year culminating in what some refer to as The Unholy Trinity. But among the lesser known names that made that year so special, and perhaps the most tragically underrated and unknown acts in this genre during the 80s save MORBID SAINT, is the Bay Area beast SACRILEGE B.C., sporting a sound fast, wicked, and short enough to embody the most cliché elements of each of the 3 contributors to the so-named Unholy Trinity.
There are two key elements that set this ball of compressed poundage from most of its contemporaries, and that is its brevity and simplicity. The SLAYER influences are pretty blatant, though to be fair a number of these songs were written before “Reign In Blood” was offered up as a compact, extreme Thrash answer to the collections of shorter songs offered by various Hardcore acts. But the riff set is a bit more archaic, having more in common with the “Haunting The Chapel” and “Hell Awaits” era where down tuning and the emerging Death Metal character that is often cited by CANNIBAL CORPSE fully seeping its way into SLAYER’S sound. In essence, “Party With God” is an answer to “Darkness Descends” through the shorter template of “Reign In Blood."
For the most part, this is a one-dimensional album where the goal of kicking ass and then forgetting the names as a result of an overdose on pure rage is the order of the day. A small amount of differentiation can be made via a couple of fancy bass tricks on “Skinned Alive” or a longer version of the first 12 song in the closer “Victimized," which has multiple solos and breakdowns as opposed to one, but that’s about all there is to it. Props should definitely be given to the bassist on here, who brings a slight Punk influence to what is otherwise a generally orthodox, straight up Thrash sound. Vocalist Strephon Taylor generally tends to add to this tendency more still with his singular gang chorus vocal style, almost as if Scott Ian was being channeled through a band that has very little resemblance to either ANTHRAX or S.O.D.
Special thanks should be given to Strephon Taylor and his recently formed label November Fire Recordings for resurrecting this classic, along with the 1985 demo that the band first brought to the table. This is an album that should have gotten more attention, and mostly likely hasn’t because of an obvious similarity in style to a number of bands who were putting forth beasts just as brutal, though often longer in length, a year or two prior. Perhaps the reason for the lack of remembrance might also lay in the lack of a unique niche such as TANKARD’S campy brand of humor or OVERKILL’S flying skull. But whatever the case, any and all parties interested in the fine art of neck-wrecking ought to fly by Strephon’s site and procure a copy of it pronto.
(Online August 2, 2011)