The Sade – II

We've recently been too entrenched in death and gloom around here, as well as dark synthwave madness.  It's been a dark, all-encompassing pathos, a pathos that was in need of an awakening through good, old-fashioned hard rock with a touch of Satanic imagery, perhaps a bit of that 'billy' thing tagged on at the end.  But Devil music, where has it gone?  What has it become?  There's this band out there, this band we really don't want to mention, that everyone who's anyone claims is so Satanic they've revitalized the concept.  Unfortunately, Ghost are cheesy as hell, their costumes are laughable, trite, boring, and their music, to quote the usual critical angle, sounds like Blue Oyster Cult without the awesome.  But somehow, someway, they caught on, and it's something the better fans out of us are still trying to figure out.  But then, we look around some more and find something like this.  The Sade started out as three guys with an idea, one of whom was originally in a Motorhead cover band.  They cut their first EP in 2009 and played on stage with a number of bands including The Misfits, and since then have slowly been making their Devil rock breach the waves.  For a band out of Italy, that's not so easy, because the country is not readily associated, for most fans anyway, with rock of this type.  But these three have every clue what they're doing.

  

II is The Sade's second full-length after Damned Love, released by Go Down Records, which is one of the most powerful indie labels from out of Italy, headed by members of OJM.  We occasionally receive stuff from these guys, but it tends to be either something we wouldn't review anyway because of our typical focus, or something that already has way too much press.  We prefer things of the obscure, and we especially enjoy giving promotion to bands no one has really heard of, yet.  The Sade are not only relatively unknown, but they also play one of the few types of hard rock we'd ever consider.  II was released on both black and blood-red vinyl, and these guys have the Devil image down completely.  It's the kind of application of the Satanic that's evident, but yet not redundant.  The song titles, the photographs, there's just enough of 'the Devil' with a touch of medieval torture and BDSM to develop a more unique, more humble vision.  You can find a number of photographs from the shoot with the executioner on the cover with his giant, cleaving axe, and that, coupled with hints of Satanism, is just the right level of all of that that you're not embarrassed to listen.

 

That's not so easy anymore.  Satan as an image is about as tiresome as anti-Christianity symbolism, but The Sade doesn't have time to waste on upside-down crosses and various methods of blaspheming the name of Christ, they're more interested in proving their worth through their music, which is largely enticing.  II opens with an instrumental heart-pumper, and then once it gets started these guys pound into you with stellar, evil riffs, leaving you thinking "yeah, maybe a black mass is kind of cool, after all."  They have the perfect amount of style, technique, and attitude.  "The Werewolf", for example, is a pure representation of The Sade, it has all of the layers on which much of II is built, especially those vocals, which are something like an aged, rugged drifter.  Production, top notch and dirty.  So, in general, The Sade have their concept complete.  The only real complaint about II is that it has moments of lag.  The middle of the album (roughly the last three songs on the first side and about the first two of the second on the LP), reaches into territory that's more ballad in nature, which seems almost unfitting in comparison to the rest of the work, especially when they get pumping, as in "Before The Death".  There are times when they're more interested in this lighter approach, which leaves the listener wanting to snap forwards to those beast tracks where the Devil is clawing at their heels.  Still, great listen, plenty of devilish chord action to make you put some real horns up.

 

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Written by Stanley Stepanic

The Sade – II
Go Down Records
4 / 5