Winnipeg’s Sabbatory unleash old-school death, thrash chops on ‘Endless Asphyxiating Doom’

SabbatoryThis week, we’ve been exploring bands that are breathing new life into older sounds, and that’s not really on purpose. It just happens there are a lot of bands putting out records this week and next who have more of a vintage bend to their formula.

Today, we’re taking a look at “Endless Asphyxiating Doom,” the debut mauler from Winnipeg-based death metal killers Sabbatory, who count among their lineup current and former members of thrash squadron Besieged as well as technical instrumental wizards Electro Quarterstaff. If you don’t have to dust off all of your late ’80s thrash records and early ’90s death metal collection because you still listen to both regularly, you’re going to find a ton to like about these guys. Think Kreator, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Asphyx, things of that nature. It doesn’t sound like its purposely serving that purpose either because, let’s face it, tons of bands these days are feeding off the past for current glory. No, these guys sound like they could be transported back to that formative age and fit right in.

Sabbatory coverSabbatory only have been a unit for the past three years, with just a 2012 demo to their name before the arrival of the crushing “Endless Asphyxiating Doom,” but they sound like a pretty well-oiled machine. Yet they maintain a rawness that let’s you know that keeping it violent and heavy takes precedence over making it digestible by the masses, and that’s another area where this band shows its charm. The guys responsible for all this noise are guitarist/vocalist Kier Keating, guitarist Marshal Fries, bassist Nick Tober, and drummer Dan Earle Ryckman, and they mete out plenty of fire and disaster on this seven-track, 33-minute record, that is the perfect dose. There’s another way these guys get what made some of the bands that influenced them clearly understood about presentation size and impact.

“Being, Thy Eternal Perplexor” rips the lid of this record with a furious blast, growl-infested vocals, and stabbing madness, with raspy howls of, “Perplexor!” coming right at you. Makes me think a bit of the Hellhammer classic “Horus/Aggressor,” to be honest. That’s never a bad thing. We then go into “Hypnotic Regression,” a punk-fueled masher that’s punchy, thrashy, and just the right amount of evil, with heinous cackles, riffs swirling and ripping you out of your comfort zone, razor-sharp guitar soloing, and a final blast of speed. “Corrosive Decay” has a nice bit of crunch to it, but also some swollen guitar work and a bone-crunching gallop that leads into a gritty, heavy section that ups the ante in a huge way. It keeps the beatings going in full as it ends in a blast of thrash and throaty howls.

“Infantasy” is richly riffy, as gruff vocals are emitted, and even some doom gloominess enters the make everything a little blacker. The song eventually gets charged up and explosive, with shrieks helping the growls make the song more menacing, and the drum work making a bloody mess of everything. Ah, in a good way. The title cut is meaty and clubbing, with more throat-mangling vocals and punk-style stomping that adds a sense of fun to this pulverizing track. “The End of a Pessimistic Voyage” is more spirited than its title indicates, with Keating howling the command of, “Go!” and his mates battling alongside him with searing leads, mean and monstrous playing, and even some atmospheric soloing at one point, that’s eventually buried in a mound of ash. Closer “Orbiting Obscuron” begins with eerie, sinister guitars that seem to build toward a slow burned until the track just ignites. There is plenty of speed and punishment, fierce growls leading the charge, and awesome all-around playing from every member, sending this great debut out on a stellar note.

“Endless Asphyxiating Doom” isn’t going to be remembered as a revolutionary album that started a new movement or anything, and it doesn’t have to be. It’s a solid slab of classic death mixed with true thrash metal, and it satisfies every time. That’s good enough for me, man, and as long as these guys keep plugging in and pounding away, the metal world will be a better, slightly more volatile place.

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