Album: Total Steel
Label: Dying Victim Productions
Release Date: 17/12/2021 (Reissue) 1990 (Original)
Sacrifice of Japan (not to be confused with Canadian thrashers of the same moniker) began their short-lived career in 1985 and would release their final album in 1992. Today though I’m looking at their 1990 full-length album Total Steel, set for re-release on December 17th on Dying Victims Productions.
The band effortlessly combine elements of thrash, speed and heavy metal and even throw in some crossover and proto-black metal elements here and there. Their inspiration is drawn from allover the spectrum and ranges from acts including Motorhead, Venom, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Cro-mags and Razor just to name a few. While drawing inspiration from each of these acts, the overall product that the band produces sounds unlike any one of them. Each song leans more towards certain styles and influences giving the album a fair level of variety and keeping things fresh from start to finish.
What really helps this album to stand out is the fact that every track that features vocals run between 4 and 7 minutes in length, something you don’t often see from bands of this nature. During this time, they hammer the listener with breakneck speed, unrelenting riffage and drum work and raw raspy vocals that sit somewhere between being sung and shouted. At times they even have some fantastic echoing effects applied and there are a few segments of back and forth vocals between members. As far as the crossover side of things is concerned, you’ll find some instances of unified shouted group vocals sprinkled in here and there.
The album was released in the 1990 but could very easily have been a product of the early to mid-80s, both in style and production. Lyrically you’ll find all of your favourite classic tropes of steel, anti-religion, violence, motorcycles, speed and death just to name a few.
Seeing as this is a re-issue, I’ll keep this brief and state that if you enjoy raw, aggressive, and stupidly catchy old-school thrash/speed/heavy metal then you need to listen to this album. This is an release that you can just put on and rock the hell out to without having to think too much and that’s exactly why I immediately fell in love with it upon first discovering it last week.
Listen to and order the album: