Review Summary: Thirty minutes of unadulterated chaos.
A deathly silence fills the air until one faint, chilling note slowly becomes audible. As it swells and engulfs the listener, a few muted rumblings can now be heard underneath. These too grow in volume, and become something like a thick buzz. Suddenly, it all explodes. Psychotic guitars dance a chilling pattern on the listener's spine as drums disjointedly smash in a chaotic frenzy and the thunderous bass rings deafeningly. Out of nowhere, the voice of a banshee shrieks, this blood-curdling yelp piercing the listener’s body. For almost thirty minutes, the disorderly hysteria persists, until an ominous wall of decaying, discordant distortion replaces the outburst and slowly deteriorates into nothingness. This cathartic discharge is Sadus’ debut, Illusions
The album is, first and foremost, chaotic and unstable. The riffs fly by at lightning speed, and the band changes the very essence of their music on a dime, with foreboding melodies turning abruptly into desperate, tremolo-picked riffs, which unexpectedly become wailing solos. Consequentially, the music is never linear, which, along with the unpredictability and lack of clearly-defined structure in most of the riffs, makes it so that the listener can barely keep up with everything going on around them. While the album is chaotic, however, it never becomes unfocused, as the music always feels like it serves a purpose and the songs all have a direction.
What makes Illusions
even more unique is the performance, as the musicians have a very unconventional approach that makes Illusions
seem like an anomaly among other thrash records. Of particular note is Steve DiGiorgio, whose fingered, fretless bass is able to reach inhuman speeds, while still maintaining a deep, powerful tone, and vocalist Darren Travis, whose impossibly high-pitched screams sound like those of a man being tortured (this is especially visible on the song titled, appropriately enough, Torture
Truth be told, there aren’t really very many albums like Illusions
. Even it’s successor, Swallowed In Black
, while in some ways superior, couldn’t capture the absolute disarray and agitation of Sadus’ debut. As it stands, anyone that in any way, shape, or form enjoys thrash metal owes it to themselves to listen to this.