Rob Urbinati [SACRIFICE] Interview 09/25/2016
Written by Marc C. Pietrek 2016
I first heard SACRIFICE in the Spring 1986 (my sophomore year in high school) on the Robert Moody Metal Show on KVHS 90.5 FM in Concord, California . It was the track, “Homicidal Breath”, from the album, ‘Torment In Fire’ (1985). The main riff was so menacing that it made feel like walking down a long hallway, punching holes in the walls all the way down. Maybe even leave a skull imprint. The sound was raw and mean. Like many of their fellow Canadian thrash bands like VOIVOD, SLAUGHTER and RAZOR, they possessed a more vicious energy than their thrash metal peers in the USA (no disrespect intended). Though influenced by VENOM, SLAYER and METALLICA amongst others of the like, this band was forging their own sound. Thumbing through the metal fanzines of that time, I remember them being mentioned along with other up and coming thrash bands at the time such as DEATH ANGEL, LECACY (now TESTAMENT) and DARK ANGEL. They had already opened for the likes of EXODUS, SLAYER and VOIVOD and had received great responses.
In the Fall of 1987, SACRIFICE released ‘Forward to Termination’. It is considered by many as their best album. Not only is it regarded by many as their best album, but also one of the golden age of thrash’s best alums period. There was an obvious progression in songwriting and the band had become extremely tight and cohesive. Their musicianship skills had become very formidable. Along with that, they had not lost any of their aggression and edge that they had on their first album. This band could hold its own against any of their peers. The only thing that this well deserving band needed was a break.
SACRIFICE continued to record and tour into the 1990s. They released ‘Soldiers of Misfortune’ (1990) and ‘Apocalypse Inside’ (1993) and toured with bands such as DEATH and BOLT THROWER. During this time , grunge was dominating the radio waves and album sales. The same kid that was wearing a SLAYER tee-shirt and denim jacket a few days prior was now sporting a PEARL JAM tee-shirt and thrift store flannel. The thrash scene had also become very watered down with a lot mediocre bands. And let’s not forget the attempts of a few more established bands trying to copy Metallica’s path to success by writing more radio friendly material. And last but certainly not least, there was the emerging death metal scene, satisfying fans thirst for something heavier that thrash was just not providing for them. The members of SACRIFICE decided that rather than change to suit the tastes of changing music market and risk the integrity of the band, they would call it a career. In 1993, SACRIFICE was laid to rest.
In 2006, SACRIFICE reformed for a one-off show in Toronto. It was decided upon reflection after that show that SACRIFICE still had something to offer fans of classic thrash. In 2009, they released ‘The Ones That I Condemn’. “Holy fucking shit!”. It is one beast of an album that oozes classic blood lusting Canadian thrash riffs, break neck bass and drums and scathing vocals, all SACRIFICE trademarks. Any fan of thrash will find something they like on this album most definitely. It is a true testament to a group of guys who still love their art decades later and are willing to put in the time to write great songs. The band has since played gigs at like the Maryland Death Fest, Germany’s Keep It True Festival and the Calgary metal festival which took place just recently.
One September 25, 2016, SACRIFICE guitarist and vocalist, Rob Urbinati, was nice enough to telephone in from Toronto and be interviewed by me for A DARK UNITED FRONT Facebook music fan page (see YouTube link below). It was extremely fun interview for me to conduct. He was just very nice, cool, mellow guy who gave really solid responses. We discussed his career in thrash, his thoughts on modern recording techniques, gear run-down and what is next in store for SACRIFICE. Believe me, if you are a fan, take note of that last part. Cheers!!
A DARK UNITED FRONT: Rob Urbinati [SACRIFICE] Interview 09/25/2016