We’re going out on a limb with this one but we maintain that the album Sabbat‘s Andy Sneap himself has long since shunned actually has a lot to offer!
Mourning Has Broken (1991) may be hard-going at times, and it may have been considered a critical and commercial failure – and virtually unrecognisable from the two world class thrash albums that preceded it (History Of A Time To Come & Dreamweaver) – but there is something about Mourning Has Broken’s labyrinthian compositions and off-kilter melodies that draws us in each and every time we’re brave enough to give it another shot.
Complex and challenging (too challenging if its lukewarm reception was anything to go by), Mourning Has Broken may sound like the work of a different band entirely – it didn’t help that Richie Desmond’s dry, often-mournful, traditional doom metal-esque vocal style was the complete opposite of Martin Walkyier’s influential, rapid-fire shriek – but this technically outstanding piece of work should be revered as an intriguing experiment and not just a forgotten footnote in the career of the UK’s finest ever thrashers!
Opener “The Demise of History” seemed to tell us straight-up that the past was over and that this was a new dawn for Sabbat. Hugely progressive, Sabbat were now dialling down the histrionics and evolving into a new band entirely. Each track was like a marathon, almost as if the band were too intent on challenging themselves to match the glories of the past. In fairness, their bravery should have been commended as the likes of “Paint The World Black” and the short but decidedly sweet title track were actually works of sublime, sorrowful beauty. On the flipside, “Dumbstruck” was an abstract technical sideswipe which upped the pace considerably while “Dreamscape” was a collage of ideas, seemingly designed to blow minds!
While Sabbat‘s denial of the album’s legitimacy – indicated by its exclusion from the discography included in the band’s official website and also its exclusion from the 2007 remastered CD re-issue of the band’s other two albums – means that Mourning Has Broken cannot presently be considered canon, we argue that this cult curio has plenty to offer the more adventurous metal fan.
Haters will hate but we consider this slack well and truly cut!