SADUS - Out For Blood
What's the matter with Mascot Records? After delivering one melodic metal album after another, they released two fantastic thrash death albums in a short span. Italy's Gory Blister convinced with very good, Death inspired metal, and with Sadus we have another connection to the late Chuck Schuldiner, as Sadus bass player Steve Di Giorgio used to be a member of Death and Control Denied.
Sadus' roots go back to the mid-Eighties when they first made people look up with their technically intricate mix of thrash and death metal, yet their early albums only obtained a cult following. In the Nineties, Steve Di Giorgio concentrated on his career with Death / Control Denied, and in meantime became not only a demanded session musician (something like the bass analogue to James Murphy), but also turned into the poster boy for heavy metal bass guitarist. On their new album, released seven years after another rather overlooked one, he even poses with a double necked bass guitar.
It would be unfair of course to limit one's view only on Di Giorgio (even though he is probably the main sales factor), because Sadus are one of the rare comeback bands that improved over time. Some of this may be because they were never as famous as the genre pioneers (Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica,...), but some also because they evolved technically a lot and are therefore able to play back to the roots thrash metal with a more progressive mind. Already the six minute opener In The Name Of... shows that a three-piece can have more power than your general quartet or quintet when every musician has the same musical prowess. In fact that song alone distillates the Sadus sound, by reaching back deep into Eighies thrash, adding some early death metal parts (I feel sometimes reminded of Possessed) and then putting all over it a rhythm WatchTower would have been proud of.
Not every song is so complex though, even if the following No More has trippy synth sounds embedded. Smackdown for instance is more of a traditional thrash metal song, that wouldn't have been amiss on a Coroner album, for instance, so still showing that they are still very complicated on their more straightforward pieces.
There's tons more where all this came from, yet the album decides to end with two more highlights. Cursed is an eight minute long-track that starts with Indian sitar sounds, and the final Crazy has Testament's Chuck Billy on guest vocals.
The transparent production gives equal value to every instrument, and the wicked vocals cut like a knife. The earlier death metal elements have nearly vanished, what remains is an excellent combination of late-Eighties thrash metal and contemporary progressive attitude. In my personal opinion, Out For Blood is the best metal album of the still young year, but it will be hard for anybody to top this masterpiece.