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Sacrifice - The Ones I Condemn

by Grigoris Chronis at 23 January 2010, 9:01 PM

Non-stop reading reviews ’bout the Canadian thrashers’ upcoming album - early released via Marquee Records, later then issued in Canada - there was nothing less than high anticipation for "The Ones I Condemn"’s taste. For those familiar with SACRIFICE, let’s just remind how influential the band was from its early incarnation in the mid-80s, with spectral LPs like "Torment In Fire" (a Canadian Thrash Metal classic?) and "Forward To Termination", while the couple of offering unleashed in the early 90s did show enough ethos to preserve the class of such a ruthlessly wicked band.

Hailed as "…immense…", "…one of the best Thrash Metal albums of the decade…" or "…blowing the new SLAYER \[album] away"…, the opening audition of the first album for SACRIFICE in 16 years - with the original lineup; have mercy! - was quite a surprise. Hmmm, to evaluate such an album someone should really be driven by one and mere fact: do you like modern Thrash vocals? Are you OK with it as long as the music’s a killer? Cannot bear them at all? Choose your congregation profile as soon as possible since this is - for me - the crucial fact leading you to buy this new CD or not. Being a longtime fan or not of the band stands second in the row, to be honest, right now.

SACRIFICE’s stamp was - back then - the vice and evil atmosphere they could create with enough reference to SLAYER and RAZOR, of course, while performing their tormenting Speed/Thrash Metal with malevolent will and relentless vigor. Now, in "The Ones I Condemn" what we can hear is an astonishing total of killing/killer music with mostly fast riffing/drumming and some more mid-pace yet sick parts creating a lunatic Thrash/Speed Metal ambiance. As long as the songwriting goes, "The Ones I Condemn" is an album that will totally blow you away with tracks like the same-titled cut, "Ultimate Power Corrupts", "Hiroshima" and - to sum it up - the whole tracklist. The riffs, again said, are diabolical and quite distant from the aggression dressing up many so-called ’new’ Thrash Metal CDs let loose in the market. The production is fat and clear, really a great job has been done in the mixing too with neckbreaking results…assuming - with a relevant sound - this album was destined to be out after the "Forward To Termination" LP it would be a very reasonable thought, really.

Now, to the vocals sessions: Rob Urbinati is the kind of vocalist I fell in love with in SACRIFICE’s early works. Condemned to sound spiteful and merciless, he was a key factor to raise tons of adornment for the "Torment In Fire" (1985) debut. Now, in this comeback CD (out on vinyl, too, soon) he put me in much thinking, the same way EXODUS’ classic singer Steve Souza or DESTRUCTION’s frontman Schmier had done - or still do - in their own comebacks…and I hate this. It short of brings me to the estimation that vocals-wise limited are the chances the Thrash-or-whatever-speedy Metal genre bands of today perform will escape this semi-growling-fully-aggressive singing style. It’s not a matter of mismatch - they vocals tie well with the music - but it’s kinda weird to have grown up addicted to sinister evil singing and crash to modern choking throat spitting; yeap, Rob is dynamic and takes no prisoners and behind the lines you’ll fancy the sickness his gorge unveils. He frequently sounds like Chuck Schuldiner or "Low"-era Chuck Billy, apart from the above Souza/Schmier resemblance…and I don’t know if old-school thrashers can take this. It’s a thin line and I wish most readers can understand what’s now being said.

SACRIFICE is back and - unlike tons of nonsense other reunions - spit fire with "The Ones I Condemn"’s music. Now, vote for your taste on the vocals’ sound in late EXODUS or DESTRUCTION (or THE HAUNTED or DEW-SCENTED) albums to put on a package deal. Nonetheless, the music’s a killer (one more time said), really.

3 Star Rating

  1. We Will Prevail
  2. The Ones I Condemn
  3. Give Me Justice
  4. The Great Wall
  5. Tetragrammaton
  6. Atrocity
  7. Hiroshima
  8. The Devil’s Martyr
  9. Ultimate Power Corrupts
  10. Desolation Alive
  11. Soldiers Of Misfortune (live 2007 - bonus track)
Rob Urbinati - Vocals, Guitar
Joe Rico - Guitar
Scott Watts - Bass, Vocals
Gus Pynn - Drums
Record Label: Cyclone Empire


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Edited 27 June 2019

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