Great Metal Albums of 1987: Sacrifice- Forward to Termination

I just happened to be in the right place at the right time when I discovered Briar in 1987 but it wasn’t the case for Canadian thrash band Sacrifice in the same year. To my regret, this band and their second album, “Forward to Termination” totally passed me by. It was mostly down to the fact that I was already established in the UK and while there were so many great thrash bands coming out of the US and UK at the time, like in many instances, Canadian bands seemed to get ignored. Listening to this album, I think this is something that needs to be addressed.

Let’s get right to the point, when I listened to the album, I wasn’t thinking that this was some great new strain of unique thrash but what they do on the album is done very well. I hear influences of both of two of my favourite bands, the Stormtroopers of Death and Suicidal Tendencies in the music of Sacrifice. The album begins with riffs associated with ST but goes straight into some hard core frenzied thrash reminiscent of S.O.D., especially the way the opening title track, which is an instrumental, goes right into the next one. In fact, the first three songs are one massive thrash affair where the band show case their talents. We get a solid rhythm section but unfortunately, there is no indication as to which guitarist plays the solos on the songs. Whoever does so on “Reanimation” rips a really cool solo. My only minor concern is the vocals of Rob Urbanati. When he sings straight up thrash, he sounds okay but when he tries to go for the high notes, there are times when he sounds like a cat being strangled. Maybe that was the intention.

After the opening three tracks comes my vote for song of the album, “Afterlife.” This is the cleanest sounding track and everything is not only done right but to perfection and the influences of the two S bands come through. While I don’t know for sure, I think the two guitarists do a solo trade off on the track and it sounds good. The slow down parts are only there to let you catch your breath before the manic thrash bombards your ear drums into submission. Also Rob lays off the falsetto attempts making his vocals sound that much better.

Following after is the seven minute long “Flames of Armageddon.” I like the way this track goes back and forth between hardcore thrash and more mainstream metal. While the solo is cool, it could have been a little longer, I think the rhythm guitar is truly fantastic on the song. What is also good about “Flames of “Armageddon” is that in spite of the length, it does not get repetitive as there are constant changes in tempo with vocals and guitar solos and a foreboding, impeding doom bass line from Scott Watts. It’s another great track.

Some cool guitar riffs start the second half of the album on “The Entity” and that sets the stage for the remainder of the album. What you get is Sacrifice honing in their craft, which pays dividends. More cool song opening riffs, great rhythm work, including the guitars and some cool guitar solos. If I went through each of these songs, I would simply be repeating myself for the most part. There is an interesting rhythm guitar part before the solo trade off on “Forever Enslaved” and the intro on “Cyanide” reminds me of the S’O.D. classic, “The Pre-menstrual Princess Blues.” Plus there is some more rhythm and lead guitar work on it but when Rob screams the song title, there is more of the strangled cat. They do change things up on the intro of “Light of the End” where you get a short but definitely to the point guitar solo before going nuclear. Then the album goes out in a mad thrash rage that is “Pyrokinesis.”

Track Listing:

  1. Forward to Termination
  2. Terror Strikes
  3. Reanimated
  4. Afterlife
  5. Flames of Armageddon
  6. The Entity
  7. Forever Enslaved
  8. Cyanide
  9. Light of the End
  10. Pyrokinesis

Rob Urbinati- vocals, guitar

Joe Rico- guitar

Gus Pynn- drums

Scott Watts- bass

Honestly, I wish I had heard “Forward to Termination” back in 1987, I would have been seeking mosh pits. But they say better late than never and even my 60 year old ass can fully appreciate the pure thrash of Sacrifice and state that Canadian bands should have been shown more respect.

Next post: Destruction- Mad Butcher

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14 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1987: Sacrifice- Forward to Termination”

  1. Now there is a band I haven’t thought of in a long time. I used to see ads for their albums in magazines all the time. None of this rings a bell though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sacrifice was (is?) killer stuff! I used to have some really nice CD reissues of their stuff but I lost them over time. And yeah, I think their country of origin kind of held them down a bit, they could play with the likes of anyone from that time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, never heard of them as I would’ve remembered that cover

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a card-carrying Canadian, I fully endorse CanCon in these pages. Even never having heard of Sacrifice before this post, I am listening now and I am loving it! Let’s goooooo!!! Eh? \m/ \m/

    Liked by 1 person

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