Sacrifice is a Canadian thrash metal band originating from Scarborough, Ontario. The band was formed by guitarists Rob Urbinati and Joe Rico in 1983 and is rounded out by bassist Scott Watts and drummer Gus Pynn. Sacrifice played a prominent role in the 1980s underground metal scene in Toronto, and along with Voivod, Razor and Annihilator, is considered one of the “Big 4” of Canadian thrash metal. The band released four studio albums on Diabolic Force (Canada)/Metal Blade (USA) /Roadrunner Records (Europe) before parting ways in 1993. After coming back together to play a reunion concert in 2006, the quartet released their fifth studio album The Ones I Condemn in 2009. Since reforming, Sacrifice has played a number of big international festivals, including Germany’s Keep it True, Ai-Apeac in Peru, Maryland Death Fest in the United States and both the 2012 and 2018 editions of Japan’s True Thrash Festival, amongst others. Their headline appearance at this year’s Mud City Meltdown in Moncton will be their first Maritimes appearance in over 27 years.
INTERVIEW WITH: Rob Urbinati.
J.B: Okay so let’s go way back to the beginning because that’s the best place to start talking about your musical direction. You started out with a tape of covers?
ROB: Yeah, lots of bands did back then. The first time I heard Voivod was them doing Venom and Mercyful Fate covers. I can’t remember exactly what was on it, but I believe it was "Turn In Your Grave" and some Exciter and Metallica covers.
J.B: That intro on “Torment in Fire” was awesome and that album sleeve. And “Turn in your Grave” and “Burned at the Stake”…
ROB: We just went mental on our whammy bars for that intro and dive bombs became part of what Sacrifice was about. Scott’s bass intro on "burned" is cool. Lots of delay, pick scrapes and a dirty tone.
J.B: Any thoughts of playing a cover to pay homage to those days at the Mud Festival?
ROB: Our rehearsal time is pretty tight so most likely, no.
J.B: Forward to Termination had a lot of earlier Slayer elements that influences that album like a “Haunting the Chapel” kind of sound to it?
ROB: We still love that EP. Pretty much every metal band owes something to Slayer. We were always looking for a raw, vicious sound like our favorite metal and hardcore bands.
J.B: For me I started listening during the Pepsi Power Hour you guys had the self-titled video “Soldiers of Misfortune” and that made me buy the tape it was so badass when it was released.
ROB: Thanks, that show definitely turned a lot of people on to us.
J.B: That release you guys had a thrash earlier works sounding like D.R.I and Death Angel that sounded really good with a hint of Nuclear Assault?
ROB: D.R.I. Was a big influence early on, but the other bands weren’t really an influence although we did like them.
J.B: Of course I still have the ticket for the infamous Sudbury show with Razor that didn’t happen. A group of us went smoked a big bowl and went to go inside the club and there was this sign “FUCK OFF,SHOWS CANCELLED”. What really stood out was the distinctive three small holes through the door and blood splatter?
ROB: I do recall playing Sudbury I think, but I don’t remember that one.
J.B: I guess that was some kind of Biker turf war back in the day a lot of the venues where pretty crazy, any specific shows really stand out for you?
ROB: RCMP shut down a show in BC once, we were lucky to get out. We played a show in NJ once with Bolt Thrower and Believer in a skinhead club. Really fucked up night and I sincerely hope that place has burned to the ground.
J.B: Of course that album was recorded at Phase One in Toronto?
J.B: You had a lot of great tracks on there with “Indefiance” and the title track “Soldiers of Misfortune” of course it’s mostly an E.P do you still play those tracks?
ROB: Yes we still play those ones, and it is a full length LP.
J.B: Of course you have been known for lineup changes and the following album “Apocalypse inside” kind of reflected that direction change, was it was shortly after with the Hiatus?
ROB: Sorry, you failed to articulate your question...Not really sure, but if you’re asking how we felt after the release, I guess I would say that we knew it was the end.
J.B: Of course you did the renunion and you guys have that really amazing latest album you did a few years back and toured with so many great bands from Exodus to Razor and opened for Slayer here in Toronto. So if you could tour with anyone now who would it be?
ROB: Razor or Propagandhi would be great as we are fans and friends with both.
J.B: what are you looking forward to at the Mud Festival?
ROB: Getting on stage again in Moncton, and hoping to see a lot of people from all over NB, PEI, NS, PQ, and NFLD!
J.B: We always end with a famous book or quote that inspired your life anything come to mind?
ROB: No book or quote has given me that much inspiration. People that have made a difference in my life, or real experiences I’ve had inspire me.