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Please ignore the cover - 87%

Felix 1666, November 10th, 2017

Canada had always very exciting bands. Today the separatist dudes from Quebec set the bar high, but already more than 30 years ago, the Canadians scored with very charismatic formations. Razor, Piledriver, Voivod and Exciter, great names that melt on my tongue, fabricated fantastic albums. And, of course, Sacrifice. Admittedly, their debut remained mostly ignored. In times when every week saw the release of a new soon-to-be-classic, mediocrity was not enough to enthuse the masses. Sacrifice's second album was therefore all the more amazing. "Forward to Termination" distinguishes itself from the debut in every respect. Glorious riffs, ingenious song structures, an almost perfect mix between aggression, attitude and atmosphere and, last but not least, brilliant melodies. The guys of Sacrifice showed the world and themselves that they had the potential to become a paragon in terms of highly efficient thrash metal - but the world never understood how to handle this promising situation.

Already the opening riff of the eponymous intro lends the very well produced "Forward to Termination" a pretty cool touch, even though it does not lack of sharpness. Casual riffs are a speciality of Rob Urbinati and his crew and they occur periodically. Of course, Sacrifice are very energetic and can raise a proper storm with great ease. "Terror Strikes" with its fast and swirling lines makes this obvious. On the other hand, the musicians also give the listener room to breathe, for example at the beginning of the epic "Flames of Armageddon". Speaking of this monumental number, it bundles the strengths of the quartet impressively.

Almost airy mid-tempo sections introduce the listener. The song grows steadily in terms of power and density, comparatively long instrumental parts give the song an unholy aura. The band hits the brakes and an eerie intermezzo is the harbinger of another high speed eruption that adds a straight feeling to the track. Yes, there are many twists and turns, but they do not push the song into the confusing region of incomprehensible heterogeneity. Quite the opposite, "Flames of Armageddon" appears very coherent and full of powerful ideas that match each other perfectly. (By the way, the closer of the B side, the straight, fast and short "Pyrokinesis" comes as an explicit alternative to "Flames of Armageddon".)

The entire A side of the vinyl must be described with words such as excellent or outstanding. Great drums open the door for "Afterlife" and prepare the ground for fiery guitars. "Re-Animation" is even better, a more or less bombastic beginning leads to abrasive guitars that roll over the audience without taking care of high velocity. Nevertheless, the band changes into a higher gear and increases the intensity successfully. In view of these gems of the first half, it is almost logical that the B side fights a losing battle. Don't get me wrong, its opener, for example, is quite strong. A drilling, jerky riff segues into a flowing speed part and due to further twists and turns, "The Entity" is almost on a par with the titles of the first half. But its predominantly mid-tempo approach does not provide this mega portion of energy that constitutes an important feature of the album's first half. A good, but not a titanic tune. Only "Light of the End" meets the A side songs on an equal footing.

As indicated above, the album, which is defaced by the garish artwork, scores with a clearly defined, punchy and vehement production. This is clean thrash, free from filth but not free from aggression, vigour and robustness. Sacrifice's songs profit from this mix, because it underlines the fine, precise approach of the group. The guitars do not slay the listener with their pure massiveness. They rather impress with accuracy and sophistication. Hence follows that Sacrifice offer a full-length with a certain individuality. Indeed, "Forward to Termination" has soul and spirit. It is not the best album from North America which was released in the eighties, but it tramples a lot of other works into the dust. Guess you are not surprised about this summary. As mentioned earlier, "Made in Canada" was and is always a promising feature.