Reviewed by Michael the MettleAngel
Special guest: Degradation + Diamond Plate
City: Mokena, Illinois
Venue: The Pearl Room
Date: 15 April 2008
Degradation set length: 30 minutes
Diamond Plate set length: 35 minutes
Sabbat set length: 75 minutes
History lessens, and too many bands are re-uniting; a pallid
reflection of their once past glory. This is not the case with Pagan Gods
- Sabbat - the best of enemies, who invented the genre, thus inspiring
the very likes of Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, and a whole host of other
artistic effigies. The mythistory of the time has come for these Dreamweavers
to ultimately heed our importunate cries to have the mighty follow through
and reach our shores.
Only four outrageous opportune dates were booked, thankfully, my mettle
brothers encouraged me to attend the show in Mokena, Illinois. Fuckin'
Hell, I am forever in their debt, as I almost passed on this essential
experience. Our Guardian spirits were with us always, as we not only stayed
at the same hotel, but the same floor as these English wild dogs.
The Pearl Room is a classic club, clean, spacious, and providing great
sound. Gathered in glory were a clan of true metal hearts, clad in denim
& leather; with patches, wearing worn out T-shirts as old as Diamond
Plate. Finally, we were ready to witness the beginning of the end!
Local legends shattered any disillusion, that thrash is back; and Degradation
continue their testament to pure Bay Area violence meets the Florida death
vibe with an alacrity, and personification of integrity, which explains
why "Metal Edge" chose to include them in their sampler along
with New Jersey dogs, Deathrash, for the issue which hit newsstands April
Playing songs from their Unleashed Demo 2007, I was quite impressed, even
if the band denied being influenced by Forbidden's - "Through Eyes
Of Glass" on the song "Denied". Their crush, kill, destroy
machine gun etiquette, and discharge of riffs, feed the flames of fury,
with an ignited excitement. The vocals are not too brutal, and the guitar
sound is clear, and punchy. If you get a chance to see them live, you
won't be disappointed.
7 chalices of 10
Crush, Kill, Destroy!
Greed, M.G.D. (Machine Gun Death)
Feed The Flames
Stormspell Records have included Diamond Plate on their second installment
of their Thrash Clash Series, along with the promising Swedish thrash
act Oppression. This three piece, though relatively young, have strong
potential. Guitarist alchemist Konrad Kupiec is quite an agile shredder,
who contributes to the maelstrom and mayhem of their thrash tinged with
death approach. Vocalist/Bassist Jon Macak, has a strident vocal range,
with a mildly mordent edifice. I hear a Demolition Hammer meets early
Flotsam & Jetsam style, with a hint of Dark Angel. Fans of Warbringer
and Dekapitator will be impressed.
They opened with "At The Mountains Of Madness", and their criminally
insane cover of "Angel Of Death" had fans whipped into a frenzy,
as they did justice to Slayer. Overall they sounded tight, but die-hards
were eager for Sabbat to ascend, so they could not wait for Diamond Plate
6,5 chalices of 10
At The Mountains Of Madness
Beyond The Realm Of Sleep
Angel Of Death (Slayer Cover)
Casualty Of War
Now the advent of insanity had befallen us all, as we all eagerly awaited
A Cautionary Tale and the metal magic in theory and practice. As the origin
of Faustian sin tale unfolded, I could feel the chill run down my spine.
Mr. Martin Walkyier ascended to the front and center, with war paint under
his eyes, gazing out unto a mesmerized crowd. There he stood headstrong,
spewing forth word after word, donning his chain and leather kilt; and
heathen garb. This was a well constructed man's old robe. I could feel
the whole stage vibrate, as the elemental spirits danced in glee. Thus
we all descried, "Bell, book and candle, candle, book, bell, forwards
and backwards to damn me to Hell!".
As the enthusiastic Andy Sneap continued to shred with a certain alacrity,
and genial nature, the opening riff to Hosanna in Excelsis began to pound
like my ever beating heart. This sonic flutter allowed me to recall that
this was the first Sabbat song I had ever heard. It was on Side B of the
Doomsday News Compilation Volume 1 cassette. I really loved the intense
guitar work on the song; but the lyrics, unfortunately, at that time offended
my delicately wavering Catholic beliefs. My friend convinced me Sabbat
were too evil, and like with King Diamond; it would be a while before
I listened to them again. This song is taken from a popular Church anthem,
and it was just too blasphemous for me, then. I once did abjure such contaversy
and contempt; now, I absolutely love it, and as Sabbat battled on, I sang
along, marching with the fallen saints, willingly.
No longer a victim to fear based philosophy, since 'Born-Again-Christians'
are born again fools! Wendy and I continued to celebrate the fragments
of a faith forgotten, as the Clerical Conspiracy began. Way Of The Wyrd
changed my life, and altered my beliefs for the better. I am forever in
Martin's favor for introducing me to Dreamweaver (Reflections of Our Yesterdays),
an awesome album!
Then, Martin encouraged crowd participation, proliferating a preponderance
of pleonasms. it is a known fact that those Sabbat lyrics are prolixic
provender; food for thought with a garrulous gout, non taciturn flavor.
I empathize, because I know that it is a real challenge for Mr. Walkyier
to chant every word, so forthright, and pronouce every syllable with his
unique lisp. Martin is truly a man of mettle, and he always serves our
souls, by doing his best. With an immaculate preconception, and a noble
rant on racism, Behind The Crooked Cross purposely left its indelible
Graham "Gizz" Butt, that old English Dog, had recently replaced
longstanding bassist Fraser Craske. "Gizz" was a wiz on the
four string, dancing and prancing all about, continually shoving and jabbing
his guitar in my face. Andy approached me, and after an excellent solo,
pulled by AC/DC baseball cap over my eyes! *Then Martin assuaged our needs
by eagerly announcing, Do Dark Horses Dream of Nightmares? As he continued
to sing this caustic tale, the guitars did whinee, and we all awaited
to shout in unison, "Woden!". It was then that I got a glimpse
of Mr. Simon Negus behind the kit shredding skins.
Martin introduced his brothers beneath the skin, just in case any of us
were unawares. He dubbed Simon Jones - "Jack The Riffer". I
had never seen Jack play live, as my "End Of The Beginning"
VHS, has Neil Watson playing guitar. Simon was absolutely incredible,
and so adept. I highly recommend checking into to his other band from
the 80's: Holosade!
As these best of enemies continued, unabated, I easily identified with
their cheerful sincerity. The song Blood For The Bloodgod, was not going
to be played this evening, but these noble men of valor stood stout hearted
and brave; and it was quite obvious that they were really enjoying themselves.
Martin spoke about Church corruption, but ensured us that he had no issues
with Christ, only the Christians themselves. This led into The Church
Bizarre, which ended an incredible display of true mettle and sonic ambition.
The throng of die-hards would not surrender until Sabbat besieged the
stage once more, with Wildfire and pure passion. Storming with steel reserve
and a vengeance rising, we all bellowed "Wildfire!". Then the
metal inquisition was at hand, and there would be no choice clemency.
Martin anathematized and pronounced us all guilty as he bespake, For Those
Who Died! We all in concord responded, "Burning, into the fire, burning,
a funeral pyre!" Then the mission, the message, the madness, all
came to end; but not for us...
After the show Sabbat invited us to come backstage and hang out with them.
Andy was such an interesting chap; Simon Jones was a true gentlemen, humble
and compassionate. Martin, whom I had interviewed earlier that day, was
a a real presence of character wit and weal. Simon Negus, ever so jolly,
and jubilant, was also amusing. "Gizz" and I waxed about the
glory days of English Dogs; while he informed me of his new band: The
More I See.
Overall, this was a once in a lifetime gathering of souls united in mettle
and might. Wendy & I want to personally thank the band and all the
crew for such a wonderful time, and for all the free beer! If you have
not seen Sabbat live, now is the time!
9 chalices of 10
A Cautionary Tale
Hosanna In Excelsis
The Clerical Conspiracy
Behind The Crooked Cross
Do Dark Horses Dream Of Nightmares?
I For An Eye
The Best Of Enemies
How The Might Have Fallen
The Church Bizarre
For Those Who Died
See also: interview
with Martin Walkyier the same night