Sadus - The Shadow Inside review
|The Shadow Inside
01. First Blood
02. Scorched And Burnt
03. It's The Sickness
04. Ride The Knife
05. Anarchy [feat. Juan Urteaga]
06. The Devil In Me
08. No Peace [feat. Claudeous Creamer]
09. New Begginings
10. The Shadow Inside
The Shadow Inside Sadus has been unleashed. Now, prepare for an unrelenting flow of high-end, exhilarating technical death/thrash madness.
Almost 40 years have passed since US cult thrash band Sadus came to existence back in 1984, a year in which thrash was establishing itself in the metal scene as albums such as Metallica's Ride The Lightning took the world by storm. It would be another year until the birth of death metal with Possessed's Seven Churches, and a further three until Sadus unleashed their full-length debut Illusions (later re-released under the name Chemical Exposure). The band subsequently established their reputation through a distinctive fusion of OSDM and technical thrash, blending the heavy and ferocious elements of both extreme genres comfortably at their will. However, perhaps this unique style meant that the band never fully fit into any one metal scene, and thus never really gained the recognition they rightfully deserved during their peak. After a brief hiatus in the 2010s, Sadus have returned with a two-piece line-up consisting of founding members Darren Travis (vocals/guitars/bass) and Jon Allen (drums), who with the assistance of guest musicians Claudeous Creamer (guitars) and Juan Urteaga (backing vocals) have created the band's sixth full-length release to date, Shadow Inside. How does this comeback effort stack up against the impressive discography Sadus have assembled up to now?
The Shadow Inside features 10 tracks in total spanning 47 minutes, but with some remarkable pacing that allows the album to maintain its ferociously energetic flow and endless supply of memorable, catchy melodies, in combination with technicality, throughout its entire duration. The outstanding display of musicianship by this duo is commendable, from Travis's distinctive angry guttural vocals, ferociously melodic riffs, tremendous leads, and fabulous bass work, to Allen's impressive drumming performance.
The album's opener "First Blood", at just shy of 7 minutes in length, is the longest track on the record, and begins with a relatively soft acoustic passage and slow percussion, which gradually builds towards the band eventually unleashing mayhem with breakneck thrashing riffs intertwined with death metal chugs and exhilarating leads, capped with agonized vocals. The relentless pounding drumming leads an unrelenting rhythm section that powers its way through the song, and subsequently the entire album. "Scorched And Burnt" follows and shows off the band's death metal inclinations with a slower death-like pace along the lines of Morbid Angel-meets-Death, especially with the meaty guitar and bass tone. The aggressive shouting chorus is a memorable moment within this track, and you'll also notice the wailing solos, but it's the relentless drumming that remains the most striking feature of all.
The technical yet melodic song structures, and neverending surge of aggression that flows from one track to the next, is what sets Sadus apart from fellow acts of this calibre, and the production also plays a major role in allowing the listener to take all these elements in, from the unrelenting, powerful, frenzied drumming, and vocals of extreme anguish on "Ride The Knife", to the insane rhythm patterns, memorable riff hooks, and rapid technical solos of "The Devil In Me". The short bombastic track "Anarchy" offers, as the title suggests, pure anarchy, and with tracks like this, the album is definitely not short of excitement. Finishing the record off on a high, is the soft instrumental "New Beginnings" replicates the album's introduction by building its way up to the final track, "The Shadow Inside", which then delivers one final relentless onslaught.
Overall, The Shadow Inside is quite a remarkable effort; although some may consider it repetitive,you can't deny the energy and excitement this duo provide. This, for me, is a release that puts Sadus on a pedestal at the high end of the technical thrash metal scene this year, alongside the likes of Overkill and Carnosus, and, along with Raider, it's one of the few albums that effectively combines elements of death and thrash.
|Written on 26.11.2023 by Feel free to share your views.
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