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on 22 June 2009
Danny Filth quoted as saying 'the most important band of the 1980's
He wasn't wrong. If you are not a metal fan - don't bother.
If you are - and you haven't heard this and/or Dreamweaver - get yourself a copy ASAP.

Unique sound. This band should have risen to the heights of Metallica in the death metal scene. Unfortunately Satan called them all back home. politics! I jest.

get it on your ipod and wrap it round your ears.
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on 28 July 2007
Originally released in 1987, this was Sabbat's debut. This album, and its follow-up, Dreamweaver (Reflections of Our Yesterdays), feature a uniquely gruff and crunchy rhythm-guitar sound, fast-paced songs and truly deft vocals from lead singer Martin Walkyier, who is at turns melodic, growling and screaming (his vocal range is more ably demonstrated on Dreamweaver in fact).

The songs feature a distinctly "pagan" mind-set (particularly "Eye For an Eye" and "Hosanna in Excelsis"). I find it hard to pick out a favourite, but I'd probably say "A Cautionary Tale", which is a telling of the story of Faust, in the style of a dialogue between a good angel, a wicked angel, Faust himself and Mephistopheles.

After recording History of a Time to Come and then Dreamweaver, Martin Walkyier left Sabbat and formed Skyclad. Sabbat recorded at least one more album ("Mourning Has Broken, IIRC), but do not buy this as it is crap. Any real metal-head should have a good time with this album, and its follow-up. And the early Skyclad material too.
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on 10 August 2007
At last these 2 classic Sabbat albums get the remaster release they deserve. Easily the best British thrash band in the 80`s and probably the only one that brought something new to the table rather than re-hash a load of American riffs. Hugely influential and important albums, very heavy on the riffing and with Walkyiers unique vocals - an absolute must.

Please ignore the one negative comment - the fact the guy thinks Pantera were a thrash band speaks volumes!
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on 25 April 2008
Well, I think I'll eschew the normal "Oh my god, British thrash!" thing for this review. Because if you think about it great English thrash (to be more specific) isn't that surprising, after all the main ingredients and forefathers of thrash metal were English, so if anything I'm surprised there wasn't more English thrash. Think about it, Motörhead, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Venom, Iron Maiden and a whole assortment of other NWOBHM bands essentially defined the thrash sound and the Americans simply stuck it all together. Although, I suppose America can take credit for the punk influence in hardcore or the fact that the first punk bands were in fact American. But would it really be so farfetched to say thrash was an English invention? Well, probably... but it doesn't really matter, all I know is that Sabbat's `History of a Time to Come' is one of the finest thrash albums out there.

Lyrically, Sabbat are far ahead of most if not all of their contemporaries. Shunning the whole `killing poseurs', `going to the show' and `shot gunning beer with Terry and Deaner' vibe (after all Sabbat seemed just as likely to spend hours carefully painting their Warhammer as partying) , Sabbat are more in keeping with the occult and Pagan themes of NWOBHM and early black metal. Martin Walkyier is certainly a gifted lyricist with some rather interesting vocal patterns. Just don't call it "thinking man's metal"...please! I mean Mr Walkyier may certainly have read a book or two in his time (there being some clear references to Blake and Marlowe here) but lets not lump in Sabbat with riffless wonders like Opeth, ok? (take that Mikael Åkerfeldt, woo race war!).

Well, although this album already had elements that endeared it to me before I even heard it, this would mean sod all without some quality thrash metal songs. Well, their certainly are a few hear. In fact most of the album is of most excellent quality, only a few lacklustre instrumentals let the side down. `For Those Who Died' is the finest song here, with a deliciously cheesy intro from someone who sounds like the Demon Headmaster (oh, to grow up in the 90s!) and then some riffs with a melodic touches closer to NWOBHM than thrash. But my are there some quality riffs here, Andy Sneap certainly doesn't hold back. `The Church Bizarre' is anti-clerical metal done immensely well, I've said it before but it doesn't matter whether your lyrics are Christian or Satanic or whatever as long as it's done well and not `Kill the Christian, 666!' ad nauseam. Musically, too this is a perfectly well crafted thrash song with the `Bring on the dancers...' riff being particularly vicious. `Horned is the Hunter' shows a greater versatility with some nice eerie picked passages (every thrash band does this but Sabbat do it with greater proficiency...barring Megadeth) and then more great riffs, a characteristic trait of this album.

Musically, this album is very much the Andy and Martin show. Martin Walkyier is clearly an imaginative metal vocalist with a unique raspy voice which Dani `milky lens' Filth would later mimic (badly might I add). Andy Sneap is one of thrash's best riff writers and every song here has some excellent NWOBHMy (it's a word!) thrash riffs, with some interesting twists and turns. The drums and bass here are pretty average neither horrid nor great...hence average. I'm not sure how the re-mastering is on the new CD, as I have the original first pressing vinyl...jealous? Yeah, bet you are, enjoy your flimsy shiny plastic disc.

`History of a Time to Come' proved that you needn't be a baseball cap wearing knucklehead to deliver a monstrous riff fest of an album...although terrible (brilliant?) dress sense needn't hinder you either. Ultimately Sabbat successfully filled a rather large gap in the British metal scene in the mid to late 80s in which NWOBHM had all but died and the new death metal bands had yet to fully emerge.
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on 24 January 2010
this is the greatest thrash album to come out of europe
not for bon jovi fans
it hits you in the face and makes you question everything you kmow from creation to death

extremely heavy with a thumping rythm section and martins awesome snapping vocals biting you like old nick himself

it takes a while to get into but well ahead of its time and i think superior to dream weaver

you will listen to this for years
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on 31 March 2007
If you're into Old School Thrash Metal, or if you're a New School Cradle Of Filth fan, then read on.

Andy Sneap is a legend! Take a look at the production credits of most quality Thrash Metal albums of the last 6/7 years and you'll see his name. But this is where it all started. If you like old school thrash, then you'll love this. An eerie intro gives way to the crashing riff of "A Cautionary Tale". "Hosanna In Excelsis" tips its hat in the direction of Metallica's "Creeping Death", "I For An Eye" and "For Those Who Died" keep the riffs coming, but it's the final 2 tracks which really push the envelope. " A Dead Man's Robe" is an instrumental of monumental proportions. Rif after riff after riff, with a guitar solo that would strip paint from your walls! Final track "The Church Bizarre" is a scathing attack on organised religion, and musically it is just as scathing. I love that singalong chorus; "Bring on the dancers, bring on the clowns..."

The new improved re-release includes 5 live tracks, and some interesting interviews with the band. Definitely worth every penny. I bought this on vinyl when it came out, and it's so good I had to have it on cd too.

Buy this and also buy Dreamweaver. 2 classic albums from a highly influential band.
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on 5 March 2007
History of a Time to Come by Sabbat is the best and most important British thrash album ever released - and I'll wager a keg of mead against anyone who says otherwise.

When it was unleashed on an unsuspecting public everything about it was unique - from Martin Walkyier's pagan themed lyrics and machine gun fire vocal delivery to Andy Sneap's razor sharp guitar sound. And it hasn't aged a day either, sounding as vital and brutal as it did almost twenty years ago.

With HOATTC, Sabbat hit the ground running. There was no formative period for this young band. Instead, they emerged as a fully formed, incredibly tight outfit with a unique and clear musical direction and released as their debut an instant classic - from the openening incantation to the closing demonic laugh.

What a shame that Sabbat imploded after only two albums (not counting Mourning has Broken, which was recorded after Walkyier's departure). Had they stuck with it, they would no doubt have continued to grow lyrically and musically - creating unique albums of songs filled with depth and character - and I'm sure would have amassed a massive following on both sides of the Atlantic. Instead, Walkyier went on to break new musical ground with folk-metal pioneers Skyclad, and Sneap carved himself out a highly successful career as a producer.

I was lucky enough to catch the reformed Sabbat at the tail end of 06 supporting Cradle of Filth. It was very exciting to see them back together again after all these years and they sounded great, even though Walkyier was obviously suffering with his throat.

These remastered rereleases are long overdue and sound fantastic. What we're all longing for now of course is the announcement of a brand new Sabbat album, but along with a handful of live dates they're just going to have to do.

Long live Sabbat!
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on 8 December 2012
Outstanding album, brutal thrashing for angry days, any song is better than the previous one, love Andy Sneap.
An album for life, nevertheless top songs are: 'Hosanna in Excelsis', 'For Those Who Died' and 'Horned is the Hunter' but really every track deserve to be here, even the intro.
beware from the instrumental track 'A Dead Man's Robe' because your head is going to be hurt.
So, any thrash metal and any extreme metal fan who respect himself should own it, if you don't have it yet in your collection you probably missing this one.
Enjoy \m/
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on 12 February 2007
This is a classic album for lovers of thrash. It is a blistering examble of why british metal cannot be surpassed. The album is full of classic songs like 'behind the crooked cross' and 'eye for an eye' to the live favourite 'for those who died'. Sabbat dared to be different from other british metal bands in the late 80's and this album proved their worth. A must have album .. damn shame they split !
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on 23 May 2008
Not as good as 1989's follow up, Dreamweaver - Mainly due to a more modest production.
Still decent,(1988) UK Thrash Metal - musically reminiscent of Death Angel's Frolic Through The Park in terms of heaviness & speed (particularly the riffs & drums).
Vocals are fairly ahead of the time - Dani Filth, Shagrath etc have all cocked an ear or two here! Vocals, along with the excellent drums, get the best deal production wise. Guitars are generally fine on rhythm BUT the leads are a bit low in the mix - vocals/drums do seem to dominate the mix. Bass guitar is reasonably audible.
This is all fast & heavy - there's absoluteley none of the late '80s experimentation that began to permeate thrash at the time - No funk bass
or rap style vocals! It's ALL pagan/occult lyrics, harsh vocals & 100 MPH
fast, Thrash, Bay Area style music!
Anti-christian/pagan, borderline Satanic lyrics - with Behind The Crooked Cross referencing Nazi Germany. A little bit cliched but typical of the time & at least more well written than many others!

I'd recommend Dreamweaver first though.
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