The debut full length from Greek Power/speed/thrash/heavy metal types Saboter, the ominously titled ‘Mankind is Damned’, is painted in lurid colours on its Repka-esque cover art. From that, you would certainly assert that the human race is indeed under threat, but mainly in this case from the razor sharp hooks of this record!
Opener ‘Purifier’ could be a lost cut from ‘Painkiller’, and the rather obvious Judas Priest influence continues throughout, but the guitar melodies are excellent and each song is catchy as hell. Saboter is clearly set on vintage heavy metal as its biggest influence, but there’s definitely some American style power metal theatrics in there too. The grandiose ‘Marching Death’ has it all, acoustics build into a progressive, almost Maiden-like piece with style, as is the galloping ‘Impaler’. There’s rife NWOBHM notes, from Jaguar to Angel Witch, but there’s something intangibly brilliant about ‘Ghost in the Machine’, and I’m feeling some Iced Earth from it too.
That’s the joy of Saboter. They bring pleasures of classic heavy metal into the modern world, while adding little bits of more contemporary power metal and thrash elements. ‘Sacred Catalyst’ could’ve dropped off the edge of Iced Earth’s first few records, but Saboter’s personal stamp is all over this record. The music is excellent, the songs are catchy as hell, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every heavy metal second of it!