The Great Sabatini Napoleon Sodomite

Where sophomore 2009 opus Sad Parade of Yesterdays saw the Great Sabatini showcasing ability over refinement, with the two tracks and subtle interlude of the Napoleon Sodomite seven-inch, this quartet have managed to not only strike the fine balance between overt heaviness and compelling song structures, but surpass them, look back and dole out the final death blow. Opening with the crushing title track, one can instantly tell that a few miles, shows and internal battles over whether Coliseum, Doomriders or High On Fire are going on the CD player next have solidified intent into ability. Pausing for effect with the creepy, backwoods, carnival-influenced "Helter Skeletor" unsettles before stepping back from groove-laden baritone metal and into the chaotic frenzy of previous outings. At that, final tune "Trap Sequence" harkens back to Black Sabbath instrumental "Rat Salad," in that it's basically one massive drum solo with a few cool riffs thrown in for variation. Still, its increasing pace and attack ending in ludicrous cacophony before reverting back to the hillbilly banjo of "Helter Skeletor" work perfectly. The grasshoppers have earned the black belt ― possibly red, for that matter. (Independent)