Sadus - _Elements of Anger_
by: Paul Schwarz (
Sadus have, throughout their career, been a band who have remained on the fringes of the thrash/death metal genre. They have never attained the success or widespread critical acclaim of some of their peers. Will _Elements of Anger_, the first Sadus album in more than five years, change all this? Well, in fact, a more appropriate question is actually "-has- _Elements of Anger_ changed all this?", since this album's European release was back in November last year. I think you know the answer. It is "no". Whether it deserved to is what I will assess, though my answer will be rather longer than one word. _Elements of Anger_ is grounded on a Scott Burns production which, whatever your view of his talents, ought to give the record a full and bassy sound. Surprisingly enough, this is not the sound _Elements of Anger_ has at all. Instead, the sound is similar to Sadus' other releases, with flat sounding drums, crunchy, rather than rich, guitar tones and a good, clean bass sound topped off by raspy vocals. As songwriting goes, Sadus have altered the formula set down on previous releases to some extent by including instrumental work which attempts to create atmosphere and has some success in doing so. Combine this with their traditional vicious and speedy thrash attack and you certainly have an album which contains variation. Steve DiGiorgio's bass work is complex and inventive and increases the album's overall ability to impress. However, Darren Travis' raspy vocals lack power or ability to flow seamlessly with the music. What this means is that, although Sadus produce a decent, listenable album, they fail to produce anything that is truly outstanding. Ultimately, I would say that _Elements of Anger_ is a good place to start the ball rolling again, but it is not the album that will push them further than previous releases have, and it doesn't deserve to.
(article published 1/9/1998)
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