Toronto’s Sacrifice is definitely on my list of metal bands that should have been bigger. 1985’s “Torment in Fire” is the first wave black metal classic, and 1987’s “Forward To Termination” is a thrash metal classic that is easily on par or better than many of their peers from the Golden Age Of Metal. Despite playing the right kind of music at precisely the right time and quite well, mainstream success was in the cards for Sacrifice.
The band released a few more albums in the early 90s, then broke up and reformed in 2008, and is still active today.
Newly released on Blessed Curse Recordings comes an excellent treat for a fan of this band. “Sacrifice – Live At The Starwood Club Toronto Nov 23, 1985” documents the band (as the title would suggest) — Sacrifice playing a live set very early in their career between the release of “Torment in Fire” and “Forward To Termination“.
New Live Album 2022
All of the songs are selections from “Torment In Fire” and are as follows:
TURN IN YOUR GRAVE
BURNED AT THE STAKE
Listen On Youtube
The recordings are rough and raw but are far from terrible. Unfortunately, there are only 500 copies of this album available, and they are hand-numbered, so grab one while you can.
We decided to take a chance and drive an hour outside of LA to catch Napalm Death playing with Final Conflict at Transplants Brewing Company in Palmdale, CA, on April 15, 2022. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the venue, but I have to say I was thoroughly impressed. Transplants Brewing Company is easily better than EVERY venue in Los Angeles right now. There was plenty of free parking (as opposed to the $30 many venues in LA charge), 7$ beers brewed in-house, a friendly staff, and the place has a great sounding room. If you live in LA, it is definitely worth the trip.
A local support act was on the bill and was actually pretty good, not life-changing good, but they were decent. I wanted to link to a place where you could find their music, but because of the crazy death metal font they used for their logo, I have no idea what the band’s name was (see flyer below). If anybody knows, feel free to drop it in the comments.
Next up was Final Conflict from Long Beach, CA. Palmdale was a one-off show, as Napalm Death continues their US tour with Arch Enemy and Behemoth starting in Tempe. I don’t know a ton about Final Conflict other than the fact they’ve been around forever, and I was familiar with some of their better-known songs. The band consisted of only one original member (Jeff Harp on guitar) and was backed up by Anthony Robles and Nick Manning, who play with a number of other punk rock bands, including DI.
Final Conflict dished out some competent Cro-mags style punk/hardcore that was well received by the crowd and got the mosh pit swirling at a furious pace. Again, nothing life-changing but delivered in such a professional manner; you can’t put it down either – especially considering the ages of some of the long-time members.
Next up was English grindcore legends Napalm Death, who, if you want to get technical about it, consist of no original members. However, the current line-up has remained relatively steady since the early 90s. Guitarist Mich Harris does not tour with the band, and sitting in for him is touring guitarist John Cooke who, in my opinion, is not that good, but because of the nature of grindcore music, his sloppy playing doesn’t take much away either.
That band delivered a blistering set, consisting of a lot of material from their last two releases Apex Predator – Easy Meat (2015) and Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism (2020), as well as quite a few classics from the 80s and 90s with two cover songs (including the Dead Kennedy’s “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”). Bassist Shane Embury is an absolute monster, and drummer Danny Herrara is one of the best skinsman in the business. The duo is a formidable rhythm section. Vocalist “Barney” Greenway hasn’t lost a thing over the years vocal-wise and may have even improved. Unfortunately, his stage presence is a bit goofy, and he often looks like he’s having a seizure as he dances on stage. In addition, some of his far-left rants between songs leave a lot to be desired and make me thankful I can’t understand the lyrics on their recordings. If you could make out what he was saying, I imagine it would sound like the rantings of a possessed MSNBC host.
Napalm Death hasn’t lost a thing over the years and solidly deserve their position as the biggest band in grindcore because they play this form of music better than everyone.
Catch them on tour with Arch Enemy and Behemoth in these cities through May.
Napalm Death On Tour With Behemoth and Arch Enemy
Sat 16.04.2022 Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre Mon 18.04.2022 San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre Tue 19.04.2022 Dallas, TX – Amplified Live Thu 21.04.2022 St Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live Fri 22.04.2022 Atlanta, GA – The Eastern Sat 23.04.2022 Charlotte. NC – The Fillmore Charlotte Mon 25.04.2022 Toronto, ON – Rebel Tue 26.04.2022 Montreal, QC – Mtelus Thu 28.04.2022 New York, NY – Terminal 5 Fri 29.04.2022 Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore Philadelphia Sat 30.04.2022 Worcester, MA – Palladium Mon 02.05.2022 Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theatre Wed 04.05.2022 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre Sat 07.05.2022 Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot Mon 09.05.2022 Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo Tue 10.05.2022 Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre Wed 11.05.2022 Portland, OR – Roseland Theater Fri 13.05.2022 Berkeley, CA – The UC Theatre Sun 15.05.2022 Los Angeles, CA – The Hollywood Palladium NAPALM DEATH U.S. headline shows: Wed 13.04.2022 Fresno, CA – Strummers + Elder Devil Thu 14.04.2022 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar + Deaf Club Fri 15.04.2022 Palmdale, CA – Transplants + Final Conflict Wed 27.04.2022 Syracuse, NY – The Lost Horizon + Fed Ash Tue 03.05.2022 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club + Pig Destroyer Fri 06.05.2022 Grand Junction, CO – Mesa Theater + Unto Others
Reviews of albums are not something I typically delve into on this site. However, when bands issue new albums that are essential metal, I will drop an album review. The last one I did was for Mastodon’s Hushed and Grim. This time in the crosshairs is Midnight’s Let Ther Be Witchery.
Let Ther Be Witchery is the 6th official studio album from the Ohio punk/black metal trio Midnight. The easiest way to explain Midnight’s sound is they are a modern-day Venom. I love Midnight because they bring back the first wave of black metal — explored in the early 80s by bands like Venom, Sodom, and Celtic Frost with a tinge of punk added to the mix.
The band’s 2011 Satanic Royalty is a 100% metal classic, in my opinion, and sets a high bar. So let’s see how the new album stacks up to previous efforts.
First off, the production is solid. Everything is dialed correctly, and the sound is crisp and clean without being overproduced while still retaining the band’s dirty sound.
Let There Be Witchery Track By Track Review
The opener “Telepathic Nightmare” does a great job setting the tone for the album and includes some excellent Tom G. Warrior-style guitar bends. Track 2 is “Frothing Foulness”, a heavily Venom-influenced number that clocks in at less than 3 minutes. None of the ten songs pass the 4-minute mark, so this isn’t an album for fans of epic-length nerd metal.
“In Sinful Secrecy” comes next and has an Omicron-catchy riff with an almost classic rock feel that will stick in your head for sure. Unfortunately, “Nocturnal Molestation” comes next and is one of the weaker tracks on the album. One criticism of Midnight is sometimes their tongue-in-cheek lyrics work, and other times they do not.
Track 5 is “More Torment” and is easily my favorite track on the album. The song features a memorable ultra-heavy riff that reminds me of Celtic Frost in their prime. Unfortunately, I recently saw Midnight in Los Angeles, and while they played many songs from this album, this song was inexplicably omitted from the setlist! If someone in the band is reading this review, this is something you should fix!
Track 6, “Let There Be Sodomy” is the second-best track, even though the lyrics are silly. The main riff is incredible and reminds me of my favorite song from this band, “You Can’t Stop Steele.” Next, in track 7, “Dead Virgin.” the band goes into some Merciful Fate territory – with some traditional heavy metal riffs and even one riff that sounds lifted directly from “Black Funeral” on Melissa.
Next is “Snake Obsession” and is a Motorhead sounding track. It is one of the more forgettable tracks on the album. The second to last track, “Villany Wretched Villany,” is a fun, memorable song that stands out on the album with some Tunbonegro and Scorpions influences.
The final track, “Szex Witchery” is a great way to end the album and will undoubtedly leave the listener wanting more. It features some excellent NWOBHM style riffs and ends with a doomy harmony guitar outro. Interestingly, one thing common to Midnight albums is that even though the band is a trio, there are many overdubs on the guitar parts. However, having just seen the band live, guitarist Shaun Vanek is skilled enough to make it sound whole in concert. Props to him on that.
Midnight Final Verdict
All and all, Let Ther Be Witchery is a great album and is well worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of first-wave black metal like I am. It’s not as good as Satanic Royalty, which seems to be the band’s high-water mark to this point, but is much better than 2019’s Rebirth by Blasphemy (also on Metal Blade).
The only place I can take points away from Midnight is: 90% of what they do has already been done by Venom in the 80s. There are even recordings of Midnight covering Venom songs in outtakes, so it’s not like they try to hide the influence. That said, they take everything Venom did and bring it up a notch for the 2020s, and that alone makes Midnight my favorite “new” band playing metal today!
The original owner was a younger guy, but the entire collection consisted of 20% from the Golden Age Of Thrash Metal and 80% from the 90s peak of death metal. 95% of these albums are reissues, but a few first are pressings that include “Slowly We Rot” and “Cause Of Death” from Obituary.
Even some of the reissues can be shockingly expensive due to the 7-12 month delays in vinyl production that is now plaguing the music industry.
I have cataloged the inventory from this purchase below. If you are looking to buy any of the entries listed can do so at ThrashMetalIQ on eBay.
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