Review SABBAT ‘Mad Gods and Englishmen (Deluxe Box Set)’

Sabbat was formed in 1985 and released two genre defining records. After having inked a deal with Noise Records, the band unleashed their debut album ‘History of a Time to Come’. The album was recorded at Horus Sound Studios in Hannover, Germany and features timeless thrash metal anthems such as the crushing ‘Hosanna in Excelsis’. With songs like ‘Horned is the Hunter’, the band also showed the songwriting talent. With eight minutes, the track is the longest one on the album. Starting off acoustically the track evolves to a thumping and versatile metal anthem that is relevant to date.

Having gained the attention of fans and media, Sabbat started to work on the sophomore album ‘Dreamweaver’. The guys managed to set the bar even higher and the genius ‘The Clerical Conspiracy’ belongs to the best thrash metal tracks ever. The untamed riffs, the merciless tempo and Martin Walkyier hoarse vocals are what makes this song to stellar blast.

Unfortunately, the band disbanded in 1991. Although some (un-)official reunions took place, Sabbat never returned with the same power as in the early days. Walkyier started Skyclad while Andy Sneap focused on his craftsmanship as producer, released with hell two great longplayers and joined Judas Priest as touring guitarist.

However, what remains are two great longplayers which are these days re-issued as a box set called ‘Mad Gods and Englishmen’. The release features both longplayers and the ‘Live in East Berlin’, which is available on vinyl the first time ever. Together with ‘The BBC Radio 1: Friday Rock Show Session’ and the ‘The End of the Beginning’ live show from berlin as DVD, the package features a lot of Sabbat.

A bit of a downer since the very beginning is the sound of the albums. The sound can’t meet the high standards of the songs and each of these anthems could be even more impressive. However, ‘Mad Gods and Englishmen’ is an oldschool experience and that Sabbat belongs to the heroes of thrash metal is undoubted.

Label: Noise

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: May 19th, 2023

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