Out for Blood

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Quite possibly the only death metal/thrash band whose audience consists primarily of bass players, Sadus will likely carry on re-forming every decade or so to record albums like 2006's Out for Blood (their first in nine years); just as long as four-string colossus Steve DiGiorgio can still pluck the dickens out of his generally overlooked instrument. Standard, five-string, fretless, heck, neck-less, you name it -- he can play it, and he does so at a higher level than most anyone ever has in extreme metal. The point of all this discourse being that, although Out for Blood features virtually the same "classic" lineup (minus second guitarist Rob Moore) that recorded Sadus' influential early albums, one would be silly not to recognize that this is now, unquestionably, the Steve DiGiorgio show. Hear the dazzling flurries of bass notes driving most every composition, including the hyperactive "Crazy" and frenzied title cut; behold the Eastern-sounding bass melodies prefacing "Smackdown"; and, perhaps most telling of DiGiorgio's role of maximum authority, check out the unexpected displays of his newfound synthesizer hobby. Not that there's anything wrong with the added dimension this brings to tracks like "No More" and "Lost It All," but original fans will be grateful to find they can still count on more traditional post-thrash Sadus fare such as "In the Name Of..." and the brilliantly vicious "Sick." To that end, vocalist/guitarist Darren Travis and drummer Jon Allen consistently come up with the goods; matching their own, not inconsiderable talents, with those of their all-star bass player so that all three can still operate in remarkably technical lockstep throughout a pair of multifaceted epics, "Freedom" and "Cursed." Ultimately, were it not for a misguided flirtation with nu-metal groove-grinds on the suspiciously named "Down" (which sounds as though they had a few too many beers with the members of Slipknot), Out for Blood is a pretty fine effort -- especially from a band that only gets together once a decade.

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