I know it is only October, but only two and a bit months to go till Christmas, so I thought I would get in early and put up this great clip from Twisted Sister.
Their interpretation of “The 12 days of Christmas”. Awesome!!
When you think of UK thrash metal, there are likely many different bands that come to mind. Yet if you were interested in the genre in the last 80’s and early 90’s, you couldn’t complete a list of the top bands on the scene without mention of Sabbat. Their initial album History of a Time to come and the concept follow-up album Dreamweaver were major players in the thrash scene, earning the band some major acclaim throughout the music industry. Fronted by Martin Walkyier and containing drummer Simon Negus, and guitarists Simon Jones and Andy Sneap, Sabbat was definitely a leader in the genre.
Following a lack of support from the independent record label that held their contract (Noise Records) as well as a number of financial troubles, Sabbat slowly started to disintegrate after
Dreamweaver’s release. Two members left the band before the third album was finished, leaving Negus and Sneap to cobble together some last minute replacements so that the album could finish. Shortly after its release, to less than critical acclaim, the band broke up.
In 2006, Sabbat reformed with their original lineup and eventually added bassist Gizz Butt, formerly of the band The Prodigy. Sabbat opened four shows for Cradle of Filth, a band that their music helped to inspire, leading a new generation of fans to fall in love with their music. Both of the bands initial albums were re-released in remastered form with new live tracks, leaving the doors wide open for whatever success and popularity the future may hold for Negus and for Sabbat. The band has played a few music festivals since their stint supporting Cradle of Filth, and there are many fans hoping that the band decides to make the reunion permanent. No matter what the future holds, there are many generations of thrash fans who count themselves among the many who have been influenced by the band.
Thrash metal was one of the most popular genres of music in the 1980’s and 1990’s. While many mistakenly believe that the genre was started by bands like Metallica and Slayer, the truth of the matter is that the genre existed well before these bands came onto the scene. Their influence is undeniable, but there were many bands that helped shape the genre into what it is today. In the early to mid-80’s, a struggling thrash band called Hydra was faced with the loss of their drummer and guitarist. Simon Negus and Andy Sneap stepped in to fill these roles, and the band changed its name to Sabbat. This single move was instrumental (no pun intended) in helping to change the UK thrash scene.
After Sabbat was formed, Negus and the band put together a couple of demo songs that quickly resulted in a contract with one of the best independent labels in the UK thrash metal industry. From here, the band started work almost immediately on a debut album known as History of a Time to Come. With 9 tracks, the album met wide critical acclaim not only from fans, but from journalists as well, helping to thrust the band into the spotlight. Their second album, Dreamweaver, was a concept album that featured a running theme based on a book about a man’s pilgrimage to England to try to convert the pagans to Christianity. The album sprung from the pagan spiritual beliefs of the band’s lead singer Martin Walkyier, and it is still considered one of the best thrash metal albums to date.
While financial troubles started to plague the band shortly after Dreamweaver’s release and their third album was met with far less acclaim, the first two albums certainly earned Sabbat a place in thrash metal history. The band recently reunited to support Cradle of Filth, who credits Sabbat as a major influence and inspiration. Metallica may be a bigger household name around the world, but when it comes to solid albums and staying true to their fan base and genre, Simon Negus and Sabbat definitely played a huge role in shaping the thrash metal industry.