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Review of the Album "Envenom" by Japanese Black and Thrash Metal Band Sabbat

Updated on November 18, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


We Briefly Introduce What May Be a Forgotten Japanese Metal Band

Sabbat is one of the oldest extreme and heavy metal bands from the nation of Japan and I had known about these guys for the longest time but had not heard their music until now. Sabbat has been in existence for a very long time, dating all the way back to 1983 when they formed under the band name of Evil. The album has the following members for this release called Envenom which is the band's 1991 debut album:

Band Personnel for the Album "Envenom"

  • Masaki Tachi: bass guitar and vocals

  • Zorugelion: drums (His real name is not known).

  • Takeshi Asai: guitars

Style of the Album Envenom and Lyrical Themes

The style of this album is a mishmash of I would say Impaled Nazerene, King Diamond and just straight ahead “death rock” If you know what I mean. However, the style is not like former Finnish death metal band Gandalf because it does not have that AC/DC feel in it. But I will warn you ahead of time about the lyrical content. If you cannot handle lyrics about Satanism, hell, and other similar topics then stay away from this album and just listen to other kinds of metal music.

Analyzing the First Four Songs On the Album Envenom

However, the feel on this album shouldn't trigger feelings of sadness, sorrow or pain. Other than the rough, low growl style vocals given that this is still an early 1990s album, the production and sound may not be to same fans' liking and in spite of these two flaws, the album has a promising start with the short keyboard influenced song called Bewitch. This one also has that orchestral feel in it and for a black metal band to do this, it is not always expected but for Sabbat, this gives them at least some variation before all the heavy black metal and thrash will bombard our eardrums. The fast song called Satan Bless You with that riffing structure would leave bands such as Impaled Nazarene impressed. “Evil Nations” stylistically resembles early Judas Priest and albums such as Point of Entry and Screaming for Vengeance come to mind. There is a song called Devil Worship on this album that has a slow, heavy starting riff and the lead guitar part sounds like one of the parts of the video game Crystalis. I know that this isn't an article about video games but that one part reminds me of the section of that game where the character enters the swampy area.

How Are the Other Songs In the Album Envenom?

“Reek of Cremation” is a fast song that has the feel of King Diamond vocals without having the operatic style in them and only when the singer utters a few words in this song do you notice this. “King of Hell” is a song that lyrically is pretty much self-explanatory as it has that slow, heavy “death rock” kind of feel once again. “The Sixth Candle” is just a short instrumental that in terms of its style and sound has that 1980s feel in it. Even I can notice this quality having listened to so many metal bands over the years. “Eviler” is not a bad song but the vocals sound like this low whining type and this represents the low point vocally for the band Sabbat. “Dead March” is another instrumental song in this black and thrash metal album and stylistically, this one resembles Slayer back in 2006. Reminiscent Bells is the third instrumental song in this album and this one brings to an end the debut album of Japan's Sabbat.

Final Thoughts About the Album Envenom

Other than the really bad vocals in the song Eviler and the downright awful song Carcassvoice, Envenom is a pretty good Japanese black metal and thrash metal album that has quite a bit of musical variation. This album is not an elite album because the songs just aren't quite masterful enough for the album to get that kind of score. But if you are looking for a good early black metal album that has good musicianship, Envenom fits that description.

Final Score for the album Envenom: 82 points out of 100 (B)

© 2020 Ara Vahanian


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