Sacrifice - The Ones I Condemn
1 July 2009

01. We Will Prevail
02. The Ones I Condemn
03. Give Me Justice
04. The Great Wall
05. Tetragrammaton
06. Atrocity
07. Hiroshima
08. The Devils Martyr [feat. Jed Simon & Dave Hewson]
09. Ultimate Power Corrupts
10. Desolation Alive
11. Anthem [Rush cover] [limited edition bonus]
12. Burned At The Stake [2009 version] [limited edition bonus]
13. The Entity [2009 version] [limited edition bonus]

Turn it up and get some ice packs ready because when this is over, your neck is going to be sore.

I admit, I have a soft spot for Sacrifice. The first thrash album I ever owned was their debut, Torment in Fire on vinyl back in 1985 at the ripe old age of 14. In fact, they were the first thrash band I ever heard more than one or two songs from and really helped to set my tastes in the genre. When I discovered they were releasing their first new album in sixteen years, I was looking forward to hearing it with a mix of anticipation and trepidation. After all, how many bands have reunited after a decade or more only to produce an utter blight to sully their former brilliance?

With the first strains of the opening track, I worried that my deepest fears had come to fruition. The thought that came to mind when I heard that riff was, "This sounds like that riff from Stryper's "The Rock That Makes Me Roll!" Then the thrash began.

Sacrifice picked up right where they left off in 1993. This is straight up, no frills old school thrash from an old school band. Don't expect a ton of originality from this album, but do expect a ton of riffs that will leave you thinking that this is the album Slayer could have recorded instead of the mediocre World Painted Blood. The songwriting is superb and varied within the context of the genre and the musicianship is of the highest caliber; the performance is so tight that I find it difficult to believe these guys took several years away from playing together as a band.

Guitarist and vocalist Rob Urbinati is given sole credit for composition on the album, which explains the cohesiveness of the atmosphere across the tracks. Tempos vary throughout the tracks with guest appearances from Jed Simon (Zimmers Hole, Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend and others) and Dave Hewson (Slaughter) on "The Devil's Martyr" adding another dimension to the album at a perfect point to keep any hints of monotony at bay.

Both Joe Rico and Rob Urbinati know their way around a guitar. The riffing is the equal of any thrash band I've heard and the solos are well placed and well played, feeling a lot more organic to the songs than is often the case in thrash. The vocals are the standard rough/shouted fare of this school of metal and lyrical themes cover struggle, war death, religious disillusionment and political corruption. The production is clear without being pristine, leaving The Ones I Condemn sounding very much like the old school thrash album it is. What is clear is that this is a band that cares about the song as a whole. What sticks in your mind isn't how great the drums were or that awesome solo on track five, it's how great that song was.

The bottom line is this album rips.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Band profile: Sacrifice
Album: The Ones I Condemn


written by Derwood | 19.08.2010

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


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Derwood - 19.08.2010 at 05:37  
Let the bashing, I mean constructive feedback, begin!
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.08.2010 at 09:33  
What's there to say? except that it's 2009's best thrash album without a doubt.
Panterica - 20.08.2010 at 15:57  
Though I didn't enjoy the album as much as you did, I find it better than most of Metallica's/Slayer's/Megadeth's recent albums. I'm surprised that the band is that uknown in the metal community.

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