Album: Sabbatical Vermin Born / The Witchhammer of the Power Elitist (Split)
Released date: 2015
Genre: Black/Thrash Metal & Thrash Metal
Country: Japan & Philippines
Label: Bestial Invasion Records
It has been quite a while since I reviewed a split record, the last split album I reviewed was Dethroned Record‘s release of the 2013 Mass Hypnosia and Sadistor album called “Merciless Metal Destruktors“. Both the bands in that album is from the Philippines and both caught my attention with that utter relentless aggressiveness that they possessed. Anyway, today I review a split offering from Japan‘s long-running black/thrash metal trio Sabbat and the Philippines‘ poseur-slaying thrash metal quartet Paganfire. The offering is called “Sabbatical Vermin Born / The Witchhammer of the Power Elitist” and it was released last 2015 under the banner of UK‘s Bestial Invasion Records. Sabbat‘s contribution in this split was taken from their live performance during the True Thrash Festival at the ESAKA MUSE in Osaka, Japan on February 10th of 2013. While Paganfire‘s materials were from their live performances during the Sepultura tribute at THE SPOT in Caloocan City, Philippines on September 14th of 2013, and during the As Sahar show in Manila, Philippines on June 29th of 2013.
This split record holds nine raw live tracks, five from Sabbat and 4 from Paganfire, taken from both bands respective previous killer releases. The first five hymns in the album are from the mighty Sabbat, and man it’s as fucking good as getting a studio material from the band. Sabbat has exhibited in this offering that they can fucking play their tracks live as good as they do it in the studio. Of course with the reputation that these guys have in the extreme metal scene, both in their homeland Japan and all throughout the world, we wouldn’t expect them to play a disappointing performance. The fury of the guitar riffs, especially with those piercing solos jumping in the mix, and the bludgeoning blasting of the drum are fucking exuberant as they were in the studio versions. These maniacs had delivered well in their part of the record. With every live song offered by Sabbat in this album, the listeners are thrown into a pit of pure extreme metal madness that will make them want to butcher those who are pretentious and fake.
Paganfire‘s contribution is also in the par of their Japanese contemporary. The Filipino quartet brought their A-game with the live hymns that they had provided in this split. They’re one of those bands out their that when you see and hear them play live, you get that feeling of a diabolical adrenaline flowing through your veins which makes you want to go and look for poseurs in the crowd and then pummel those false metal exhibitionists to death. Paganfire comes out as a more violent version of themselves in this split. They went out there and they dispensed more primal brutal thrash riffs with each track, and the band’s drummer had bestowed some remorseless battering from the drum section which is very well highlighted, along with the murderous riffs, in the live form of the songs in here.
The unrefined and natural production of “Sabbatical Vermin Born / The Witchhammer of the Power Elitist” makes all the songs from both groups in the album sound more lethal and merciless, as if they were performed by barbaric monsters in flesh coming from the depths of hell themselves. The essence of a live ambiance is kept in this split, and it makes the listeners feel like they’re really present live in the front row center of both Sabbat‘s and Paganfire‘s shows. We can feel that stimulating pure utter poseur-slaying intensity of all the songs with this unembellished and unvarnished execution in the production department.
Altogether, “Sabbatical Vermin Born / The Witchhammer of the Power Elitist” is a fine live split offering. It is worthy of hunting down and owning, especially to those metal enthusiasts who want to feel that genuine compassionate emotion of being present into a killer extreme metal show which advocates the slaughter of those who are false metal. Get your copy of this split record if you do not own one. I guarantee you that you will not fucking regret it!