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Sadist - Above the Light CD (album) cover

ABOVE THE LIGHT

Sadist

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.46 | 13 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Above the Light" is the debut full-length studio album by Italian technical/progressive death metal act Sadist. The album was released through Nosferatu Records in July 1993. Shortly before the recording of the album the band had lost their lead vocalist Fabio and as a consequence bassist Andy would take over the vocal duties in addition to recording the bass parts, making Sadist a three-piece consisting of Tommy (guitar, keyboards), Peso (drums) and Andy (vocals, bass). Sadist had released the "Black Screams" demo in 1991 and the "Black Screams" EP later that year as well as toured a lot in 1992 before entering the studio to record "Above the Light". They were at this stage in their career still a rather inexperienced band though and I think that shines through on the compositions on this album.

There are 8 tracks featured on the original release (two bonus tracks on the Japanese version) while there are two additional bonus tracks (recorded in 2000 during the "Lego (2000)" sessions) on the 2006 Beyond Productions re-release. A strange choice for bonus material to include outtakes from a 2000 recording session on an album from 1993. The original tracks are in a technical/progressive death/thrash metal style with growling/raspy vocals. There are both jazzy and classical elements in the music but the basis is death/thrash. A promotional video was made for the track "Sometimes They Come Back" which is also the most catchy track on the album.

The sound production quite frankly leaves a lot to be desired and as a consequence affects my listening experience in a negative direction and therefore drags my rating down. The music lacks power because of the bad sound quality and its such a shame as Im sure a more powerful sound production would have given me a totally different listening experience.

The musicianship is decent although there are elements of Pesos drumming style that are a bit too anchored in the bad part of the eighties thrash metal movement. Its not all bad though and he does play a couple of pretty interesting things along the way. Band leader and main composer Tommy is obviously a good musicians/composer but he still needed a few more years to perfect his style too.

Ive heard people praise "Above the Light" as a progressive death metal classic but I have to strongly disagree with that statement. Although the comparisons to artists like Death and Atheist (especially the former) are certainly valid enough theres a big difference in quality. For newcomers to Sadist music I suggest that you start with their second album "Tribe (1996)" before listening to "Above the Light". If were talking technical/progressive death metal classics that one certainly applies. "Above the Light" is overall too raw and unpolished both when it comes to the maturity of the songwriting, the sound production and the musicianship. a 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 2/5 |

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