Sadus

Chronicles of Chaos

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Although a couple of subsequently released albums have since chipped away at its all-inclusiveness, 1997s Chronicles of Chaos is still the most complete Sadus greatest-hits set available. Its seventeen tracks were culled from the San Francisco quartet's first three albums: Swallowed in Black ('90), Chemical Exposure ('91), and A Vision of Misery ('92) -- all of them combining to paint a revealing picture of thrash and speed metal's gradual transition into death metal. Since it was in fact released first, in 1988 and under the different title of Illusions, the mostly thrash-based Chemical Exposure is up first, and the six tracks representing it show an already very mature group of musicians -- particularly in terms of technical ability. Still, frantic offerings like "Sadus Attack" and "Torture" balance out these complexities with refreshingly brief running times; and additional fan favorites like "Certain Death" and "Undead" retain a deliciously jagged (as opposed to chunky) guitar attack -- a direct descendant of the aforementioned thrashing legacy. Next up, the truly transitional Swallowed in Black is slightly under-served here at only five tracks, but at least these include the memorably diverse career highlight "Arise" and the retro-thrashing Exodus-inspired "Powers of Hate." Finally, another six songs of mixed quality reflect the band's most unwaveringly death-like effort, A Vision of Misery, most notably the bass-happy "Through the Eyes of Greed" and the final adieu to thrash, "Valley of Dry Bones." Obviously, it'd be nice to eventually see later efforts included in an updated version, and a few entries from the band's legendary D.T.P. Demo 1986 (still considered their best work by many fans) would be greatly welcomed as well, but in every other respect, Chronicles of Chaos comprises the best possible first exposure to the work of Sadus.

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