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Whoa, Jeff Waters is about to sue somebody! - 28%

hells_unicorn, January 3rd, 2013

The lore of olden days when 80s Bay Area thrash was merging with the newly forming death metal sound saw a very promising Sadus, teaming with monster riffs, soaring bass lines to rival Joey Demaio and Cliff Burton, and a formidable vocal presence resting somewhere between Chuck Schuldiner and Jeff Becerra. To put it plainly, this was a band that would not have been unwelcome amongst those who lapped up early Exodus, "Scream Bloody Gore" era Death, or the most auspicious 80s output of Slayer. As such, the promise of modernity can only promise a step down in quality, as was the case with both Slayer and Exodus (Death being spared this by the untimely passing of its front man and mastermind), but where this band ended up circa 2006 is on par with the nosedive that occurred with Slayer about 10 years prior, rather than the gradual decline occurring after Exodus' reformation.

While there are probably a good number of albums out there far worse than this (Machine Head's middle era comes to mind), damned if Sadus doesn't try to sink to the same level as them at nearly every turn. Moments resembling that classic, riff happy thrash sound that was employed in the past are few and far between, though owners of the special edition of this album will find some respectable work from their less prolific period in the mid to late 90s that showcases a band still somewhat in touch with their past. However, the bulk of the contents on here are an absolute mishmash, throwing a number of traditional heavy metal, groove, and modern elements in a jumbled mess not all that dissimilar from a failed experiment in an extreme progressive metal factory.

The best moments of this thing tend to come in when elements of DiGiorgio's past work with Iced Earth shines through a tad amid the musical sea of incoherence. Most of this occurs on the opening song "In The Name Of...", which listens like a bass-happy outtake from "Horror Show" with lackluster harsh vocals. Occasionally a high-octane thrash section in the mold of mid-80s Slayer works its way in to pull it away from the galloping NWOBHM styled orthodoxy of Jon Shaffer, but the shining moments of this album get a bit bogged down in ridiculousness as Darren Travis seems determined to sound as ridiculous as possible and even throws in some quirky studio effects for good measure. A few similar ideas manage to filter in and out of "Out For Blood", which also manages to sound somewhat like a thrasher, though in a mold more along the lines of recent Annihilator work, thus getting bogged down in too many conflicting ideas, not the least of which is an annoying principle riff that sounds dangerously close to a Machine Head interlude.

For the most part, the rest of this album is an absolute grab bag of semi-interesting ideas meshed with nonsensical musical gibberish. It can be granted that a lot of thought went into these songs and a lot of skill was needed to play them, but organization and seriousness were clearly not terribly high on the priority list as this was put together. The lyrics are absolutely asinine, conjuring up memories of early 90s Pantera meshed with something almost campy enough to pass for WWE theme music. Oddly placed synthesizer lines are thrown in with little accounting for sense, giving the thing a bizarre, Sci-Fi B movie feel. Some get more ridiculous than others, but the winner in the random, goofy department is clearly "No More", which teams with enough keyboard driven weirdness to make "Turbo" era Judas Priest blush and a really boring groove riff set that literally could have found itself on "The Blackening" had it been written a year later.

Most bad albums induce a sense of moderate to extreme revulsion, but "Out For Blood" may be the first album to make an unsuspecting buyer laugh his ass off, before he remembers he spent money on this thing of course. This is right out of the same failed formula that Jeff Waters went to time and time again in the 90s (before having Randy Rampage and later Jon Comeau inject some sanity back into the equation, naturally being followed by the same sort of trite resurfacing), literally to the point of questions of stylistic cloning at times. This thing may be technically proficient, and it even has some bass work that would put most prog. band 4 or 5 stringers to shame, but there isn't much on here that resembles an actual song that can be held onto, and as an album it barely manages to rival a lot of the sappy metalcore garbage that was taking over the airwaves. For those who love Sadus, just pretend this thing doesn't exist and hope that Steve DiGiorgio sticks to his work with Charred Walls Of The Damned for the foreseeable future.