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Review of the Album Illusions by United States Thrash Metal Band Sadus

Updated on August 6, 2020
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

What is Sadus?

Sadus is one of the oldest United States heavy metal bands in existence that I always knew about due to knowing about bassist Steve Digiorgio who played with the late Chuck Schuldiner on the album called Human in 1991 and he also played with the band Testament. The debut album of Sadus is called Illusions released in 1988. It was alternatively titled Chemical Exposure when it was released on cassette tape.

Musical Style of the Album Illusions

The style of Illusions is well… fast as heck with raspy style of vocals. Speed was very common in the 1980’s and Sadus was no exception to this trait. The album is really short, being just over 29 minutes long. However, it does not even compare to Slayer’s Reign in Blood album even though it has speed in it. At first thought you might be thinking “what the heck is this kind of heavy metal that we have heard before?”

Con #1 About the Album Illusions Is The Lyrics

Your concerns are very valid because what person does not know that death is an inevitable part of life? Sadus should not have written songs about this subject but because they did, they have joined a category of heavy metal that is redundant and overdone. The style of the first song is like the old Metallica and to some extent, Annihilator’s Alice in Hell. However, like several albums of its kind, the song titles focus on very grim subjects. There’s got to be a better way to get your ideas out to the public instead of focusing on such grim lyrics but that’s what thrash metal sometimes is like.

Illusions A Brief Review

The raw, fast riffing reminds me of 1989 when Alice in Hell came out. The song Undead starts out rather slower and a touch of melody is put into this song. Sadus Attack is a song that is short and basically sets the stage for more fast songs from this Antioch, California band. The vocals are pretty similar to the first vocalist of Annihilator and Mika Luttinen of Impaled Nazarene. There is just too much screeching in the vocals for this album to rank anywhere in the 90’s on the 100 point scale. Also, the riffing contains too much of the same mid-tempo to fast guitar play. Sadus is a decent band but it cannot compare to thrash metal bands from Germany or elsewhere in Europe. The next song called Twisted Face starts with a slow, exotic riff before going into the usual raspy vocal style and fast riffing. Some of you might find this album boring. Honestly, even Slayer is better than what Sadus offers on this debut and for the 1980’s it is an average release at best. Is there a sort of “wow” factor in this album? I would say that no there is nothing in this album that hasn’t been done by other bands after Sadus and the song called Fight or Die is a cheesy attempt by the band to write a song about a man that was chosen to fight for his country in spite of believing in Jesus. The “best” moments of the album Illusions are the first three songs. I put the word best in quotes to emphasize that Illusions is an average album when its best moments are not of elite quality. The ending of this album is rather mediocre at best with the noisy, atmospheric song called Chemical Exposure.

Final Thoughts About the Album Illusions

How does Illusions feel like as an album in 2020? The song Undead certainly has some decent riffing that works out. For 1988 standards, Illusions has two qualities that make it stand out as being ahead of its time. These are the raw sound and the overall speed approach to it but this album is not as good as Reign in Blood though. Though these vocals need to be improved drastically. If Darren Travis was attempting to sound like Randy Rampage of the band Annihilator, he has fallen short of that attempt. The riffs are at least respectable but what prevents this album from being an elite one are the vocals and the overly negative song titles. The song Twisted Face at least in the beginning of it sounds like a suspenseful horror kind of movie.

Final rating for the album Illusions as of 2020: 70 points out of 100

© 2018 Ara Vahanian


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