Sadus

A Vision of Misery

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After two fine albums straddling the stylistic transition between thrash and death metal, Sadus pretty much committed to the latter with their third, 1992's A Vision of Misery. Really, they had no choice, given thrash metal's increasing obsolescence and death's simultaneous rise. Still, this move nevertheless resulted in one of two conclusions: at best Sadus sacrificed the key thrashing component that had helped make them special and somewhat unique; at worst it exposed them as carryovers from the bygone generation. Under either assumption, A Vision of Misery was hardly some kind of failure, with new compositions such as "Through the Eyes of Greed," "Machines," and "Echoes of Forever" epitomizing technical death metal, while not exactly measuring up to genre standard-bearers like Death and Morbid Angel. And, although they certainly lose some of their sharp claws due to the overall denser guitar sound chosen here, it's actually the band's increasing reliance on mid-paced tempos and repetitive riffs that winds up dragging down other selections like "Slave to Misery" and the way overlong but otherwise solid "Facelift." Even so, for fans of Sadus' habitually inventive arrangements and sharp dynamic shifts, there's plenty on offer here. And note to the Steve DiGiorgio fan club: his mind-boggling bass licks and impossible tricks are still regularly splattered all over these tracks, even if often crushed deeper in the mix. Unfortunately, DiGiorgio soon accepted an offer to go off on tour with the far more lucrative Death, leaving Sadus in limbo for the next half-decade.

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