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.