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Sax – Z​ó​na Strachu / Moravské N​á​​​ř​​​ez [Compilation / Re-Release]

sax – z​ó​na strachu / moravské n​á​​​ř​​​ez [compilation / re-release]


Those who dig deeper and look beyond the usual names from the glossy metal magazines will know that in the mid- to late 80’s and early 90’s there was a lot more going on than just Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Motörhead, or if you’re lucky, Kreator, Anthrax and Morbid Angel. While those magazines from that time mostly had eye for those big and commercially successful bands and their most exotic featured band would most likely be Sepultura, something was brewing in many countries: an underground scene of their own. Without the internet and mostly purely relying on tape trading for music, those local bands for the most part influenced each other, subsequently they were creating an often unique sound without any preconceived plan.

One of those more obscure scenes developed in Czechoslovakia, a country that had a small but very interesting extreme metal scene. Bands like Root, Törr and Master’s Hammer were amongst the first acts to cement that rather distinct Eastern European sound. They all had a bit of that quirky, creative twist, which made them stand out, musically. Much later, still a lot of that uniqueness was found in various extreme music styles, be it Forgotten Silence (avantgarde sort of Death Metal), Dissolving Of Prodigy (Folkish Doom/Death Metal) or the Master Hammer’s second coming in which they masterfully blended all sorts of electronics into their music.

Another band out of that inventive Czechoslovakian scene was the Thrash Metal band Sax. Not as avantgarde as some other local bands, but certainly not standard sounding either. Remarkably is that while the worldwide Thrash Metal trend already faded away in favour of the far more brutal sounding first real Death Metal hype around those early 90’s, Sax came up with their first record in 1991 and their sophomore album in 1993. The exact moment that the band threw in the towel is unclear, but 1993’s ‘blabla’ also turned out to be the band’s swan song. Now, both albums have been compiled on this CD release by I Hate Records.

A big part of Sax’ quirkiness lies within their lyrics, sung in their native tongue, which might sound very exotic to foreign ears. Especially when sung in such a snarly and gnarly fashion as Pavel Piják on the debut album, ‘Z​ó​na Strachu’. The band’s rather clunky sort of angular Thrash Metal has that elusive charm of all of those very early Thrash Metal, but sounds even more so due to its very primal sort of ambience. It has some similarities with the hooky and riff-heavy American Thrash Metal of the late 80’s, such as Lääz Rockit and Overkill. The second album, ‘Moravské N​á​​​ř​​​ez’ features a different vocalist, as Piják left the band, seemingly on bad terms as he formed his own band right after: Sax Piják. With his own band he also released an album in 1993, but that was his only feat. Sax’ third album is basically in line what they presented on their debut record, chunky riffs and snarly vocals and a slightly brighter sound.

Three members of the band went on to form the aforementioned Forgotten Silence in 1993, so whether it was because Sax reached its end or, the other way around, that the beginning of Forgotten Silence marked the end of Sax, who knows..? Regardless of how the story of Sax ended, it was a clear stepping stone, since all the band members are still active in various bands, except, ironically, Piják. Anyway, if you have a soft spot for Czechoslovakian extreme metal like the aforementioned acts, Crux, Debustrol, Avenger, Kryptor or Atomic or obscure Thrash Metal in general, you can’t go wrong with Sax either.


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