Sabbat - _Live Meltdown_
(HMSS/Horror, 2001)
by: Alvin Wee (8 out of 10)
Another obscure release from the Japanese-based Heavy Metal Superstar Records, this time a collaboration with Denmark's Horror Records. A blessing for die-hard Sabbat maniacs, for this means this edition of the infuriatingly elusive _Live..._ records will finally be available outside Japan. Notoriously underground and misanthropic, HMSS Rec.'s previous releases of live Sabbat performances on vinyl (_Live Kindergarten_, _Live Curse_, etc.) sold out instantly, with the few remaining copies reaching incredible prices ($40 or so). _Live Meltdown_ presents the Japanese Cult live in Sweden while on tour with Unpure, Denial of God, Urn and Pagan Rites, on beautifully colored picture vinyl complete with obi and backing sheet. On show are the usual cult favorites "Evil Nations" and "Satan Bless You" together with newer cuts like "Charisma" from their latest album, and the recording quality proves remarkable, given the somewhat dodgy nature of the HMSS releases. Accusations of Sabbat putting out too much miscellaneous material are unfounded; despite the incredible slew of 7"s and stuff the band has released on a consistent basis, the material on _Live Meltdown_ speaks for itself: an iron-spiked fist in the face of wimpy commercial black metal. Well worth the high price tag if only you could find a copy, the entire edition of 100(!!) hand-numbered copies sold out from Horror Records even before it was pressed in February, with fans like myself having to buy their copy a month in advance.


(article published 13/5/2001)

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