Friday, August 27, 2010

Sadus - Illusions (Chemical Exposure)

"Intense" is the most accurate description

Sadus, the starting point of one of metal's most revered bassists, Steve DiGiorgio, released what is arguably the most intense thrash album of all time. Comparisons to Reign in Blood are thrown about usually, but they are very valid comparisons. Both records break the sound barrier in terms of speed and are comprised mainly of short bursts of total balls out thrashing intensity.

The two most notable aspects of Illusions, are easily DiGiorio's incredible fretless bass runs (Tortured has an honest to god bass solo under one of the riffs!) and Darren Travis's frenzied shrieks. I have never heard a more blood curdling cry from any other vocalist in any genre, he honestly sounds like he's being tortured in Hell! They are a little hard to describe (apart from my preceding analogy) but once you hear them, you'll never forget, they are very recognizable.

As we all know, thrash is all about the riffs, and Sadus delivers 150%. There is no shortage of extremely fast hybrid riffs combining Kreator and Slayer, which is a top notch combination. Nothing on the album sounds out of place, and it lets up very few times, presumably to allow you to scrape yourself off the floor before the splatter your face all over again. The drumming remains intense throughout and compliments the bass perfectly. You may find yourself constantly focusing on the bass, which never EVER happens in thrash metal. Maybe that's why Sadus stands out above the plethora of half assed thrash releases from 1988.

There are some midpaced sections like the beginning of Sadus Attack and sections of Twisted Face and Undead. But fear not, as about 90% of the album is pure aggression that rages along slaughtering all in it's path; the second half of Sadus Attack, intro of Illusions and Certain Death are the most prevalent, but pretty much everything barring the closer is a riff monster that rips your face apart, laughs at you, shits on your bed, fucks your girlfriend, and steals your microwave. And it seems like most of the slower parts are immediately followed by some of the fastest sections on the album. Examples, Twisted Face starts off with a riff that seems to be an homage to the classic film Jaws, but then rips into one of the fastest numbers on the whole record. Also, Sadus Attack starts out as the most downtempo song here, but is actually one of the most intense tracks ever to come out of 1988 after the first minute.

In the end, Illusions stands as one of the most extreme thrash releases of all time. DiGiorgio's masterful songwriting and bass technique ranks him as one of my favorite bassists in metal. Darren Travis has one of the most distinct screams known to the genre, and adds to the frantic zombie and war lyrics. Some songs may not stand out very much, but that is not a main aspect of thrash, like it is with power metal. Highly recommended for fans of thrash with a moderate death metal influence. The reason it didn't score higher is because the last track, Chemical Exposure has zero purpose and is just two minutes of noise. Thankfully it is the last track, and can be overlooked.

Buy it if possible, wonderful thrash assault.

RATING - 90%

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