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Review: Sacrifice - The Ones I Condemn
The Ones I Condemn

Label: Marquee Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 59:57
Tracks: 15
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 22, 2021
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
The Ones I Condemn

Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)

I remember when this album was announced back in 2009. Lots of people were excited to hear some new Sacrifice 16 years after their last album, Apocalypse Inside. This was coming out on Brazil's Marquee Records and many people, including yours truly, preordered the album in anticipation of its planned release a few weeks later. Then Michael Jackson died and just about every CD pressing plant prioritized his discography, so the release date had to be pushed back—I can't remember how long, but it was a few weeks. People were pissed. I never liked Michael Jackson going back to the early '80s (one of my nephews still likes to remind me of that to this day), so I may have said harsh things.

When this finally landed here, I didn't like it almost from the get-go. The vocals again. When the singer yells, "It's the ones that I condemn!" right after a pretty cool intro reminiscent of the '80s, at the time it reminded me way too much of that whiny/screamy style used by just about half-assed fake metal band I hated. So, I never gave the album much of a chance. To this day, when I think of that album, I think of that line and make a face.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I set out to review the band's discography since I realized none of their albums had been reviewed here yet. So, I had to give this a listen after what, maybe 10+ years since I last gave it a chance. Well, I still don't like the vocals. But having gone through the whole discography in a short period, really it's right from the second album that the vocals started to get a little on my nerves. There was something about that first album that just ruled and was lost on subsequent albums. Anyway, after dozens of listens, I still can't quite stand the vocals, but I can make abstraction of them and focus on the music and that's good because this is good thrash. Sacrifice managed to stay old school with this one, but despite having been away for 16 years they got better musically. That razor-sharp, visceral guitar sound is still intact and even better than on their previous album and the album has a whole sound so much heavier and punishing that what they did in the past. Well, with the exception of Torment in Fire which I still view as their best even though it's not as technically accomplished as the other albums. The Ones I Condemn has it all. Speed? You bet, and hold on to your hat? Heaviness? No shortage of that? Melody? Yup, you'll get some of that too, albeit in small doses. Atmosphere? Well, nothing the band has ever released ever came close to that evil atmosphere on Torment in Fire, but some passages sure sound eerie as hell.

I'd say this one is my third favourite after Torment in Fire and Forward to Termination. They had toned things down a bit after that second album, but I guess the long break gave them some energy and they made up for it with this one, packed with premium old-school thrash with modern production means. We're still waiting for the follow-up, which is apparently just around the corner... Stay tuned.

Other related information on the site
Review: Apocalypse Inside (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Forward to Termination (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Live in 85 (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Soldiers of Misfortune (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Torment in Fire (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with guitarist and vocalist Rob Urbinati on February 11, 2021 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist and guitarist Rob Urbinati on November 16, 2013 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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