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RONDELLUS
RONDELLUS
Sabbatum
(Beg The Bug Records)
53:42min

We've all heard countless times that there is "nothing new under the sun", and most of the time it is true. However we must also remember that there is an exception to every rule. The "Sabbatum" CD by Estonian medieval music group RONDELLUS is one of those exceptions. Heavy Metal is generally a very conservative form of music, yet paradoxically it can also be one of the most inclusive and broad-minded. In the same genre called "Metal" you can find lyrics and outlandish topics on any VOIVOD album standing right along side the simple and skullcrushingly effective SLAUGHTER LORD hymns of mayhem. There is the utmost in simplistic musical brutality found in bands like HELLHAMMER standing along side a technically proficient metallion like YNGWIE MALMSTEEN - in my collection, anyway. In 1998 MALMSTEEN pushed the boundaries of Metal beyond anything previously known by composing an entire album for a symphony orchestra and masterfully soloing over the whole thing with his trademark classical style, Fender Strat and Marshalls. Heaven for me, Hell for others, I know. Now comes another release that, judging by some of the reviews of it I've seen in the Metal and Hardrock press, has rocketed over many people's heads like a space shuttle. RONDELLUS' album consists of 12 BLACK SABBATH covers played on medieval instruments and sung entirely in Latin. 'Verres Militares' ('War Pigs'), 'Funambulus Domesticus' ('A National Acrobat'), 'Symptoma Mundi' ('Symptom Of The Universe'), 'Planetarum Vagatio' (do you really need a translation of this one?), among others, form the backbone of this highly memorable and most unmetal of Metal releases. SABBATH drummer Bill Ward has recently forwarded a stunned and appreciative note to project coordinator Mihkel Raud over the release. Copies have been forwarded to the other members of the original SABBATH in hope of some sort of feedback. But the fact is, Iommi, Osbourne and Butler would have to be mad not to see the honour done them by this. I'd like to see RONDELLUS' next project be a similar album of IRON MAIDEN covers. In the meantime, BLACK SABBATH and true Heavy Metal fans take note, this is like nothing you've heard before; Nu-Metal fans and simpletons, take cover! www.sabbatum.com

Charles Keller

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