» Sabbat 2008 04 15  
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Reviewed by Michael the MettleAngel
Headliner: Sabbat
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 1st.

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

Diamond Plate

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 to abate.

6,5 chalices of 10


At The Mountains Of Madness
The Alchemist
Beyond The Realm Of Sleep
Angel Of Death (Slayer Cover)
Casualty Of War
Criminal Justice



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 mark.

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

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