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Go to the Sabbat website  Sabbat - Dreamweaver [Noise/Sanctuary - 2007]

This is a very welcome reissue, remaster, etc of this classic progressive thrash album from 1989, that’s up there with the likes of Voïvod’s Dimension Hatröss in its distinctive sound and personality. Mixing together folk and dark fantasy elements, with break-neck complex riffing and rapid-fire mad hermit rant to more traditional metallic vocal fare.

Really there was no one at the time or since that sounded like Sabbat, and Dreamweaver their second album was clearly their masterwork. A dense, brutal and atmospheric concept album based on the book Way of Wyrd - a fictionalized account of an Anglo-Saxon sorcerer and mystic based on years of research by psychologist and university professor Brian Bates. The band aptly and convincingly wove in clear folk acoustic guitar elements, more traditional British metallic touches. Song introductions that use environmental sounds such as; bees buzzing, creaking of boats and forest sounds, along with atmospheric spoken word passengers, that really added to the depth of the atmosphere and never sounded hammy or contrived. Really it’s frightening how fresh and unique it still sounds today. Each track is hellishly complex packed to near bursting with interlocking riff work that managed to sound effortless, brutal, memorable and atmospheric. All with this is topped off with the feeling of ages and legends past, a time of natural, magic and earthy spiritualism.

Sadly this was the last album with the original line-up with singer/lyric writter Martin Walkyier at the helm, he went on to form the less extreme mix of metallic matter and folk with Skyclad. Sabbat did one more album with a new singer, that had interesting musical ideas but just didn't have the same edge or feel about it. The band have recently re-united in the original line-up to do a few shows, whether this will bring new musically fruit is unsure, but we can be thankful that this masterpiece is now back in print. The inlay booklet filled with old press pictures from the time, an interview/article about the album and not forgetting the wonderful dense lyrics all reprinted. As well as the album being digitally remixed, we have three live tracks from 1990- showing the band could carry it off live too.

Really if you have any interested in original and experimental metal craft of any form this is a must buy. Or if you're interested in how pagan, naturalistic and fantasy themes should be weaved through music to sound convincing and epic you also need this. A masterpiece in every sense from the breathtaking and detailed cover artwork to the complex, but accessible and atmospheric metal craft.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Roger Batty
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