Abattoir‘s second studio album was the only one featuring vocalist Mike Towers (aka Mike Torres), and then the band (sadly) broke up shortly after release.
The production sound lacks a bit on this 1986 release but it is a very solid heavy metal statement. So underrated and often forgotten.
Side one turns out to be the better side on vinyl (which it was originally meant to be played). “Bring On the Damned” is a standout track on the album. The group’s backing vocals work wonders on the chorus of “Bring On the Damned,” too. “Hammer of the Gods” is quite possibly the best full-force metal song here (where classic Priest and Maiden influences shine). And the straight-forward metal of “Nothing Sacred” is a hidden gem. Opening and dynamic guitar chugs are the difference in the fantastic title track. Plus it has the traditional metal staple: the tempo change.
Well-positioned tempo changes take certain songs (for instance, “Under My Skin”) to the next level on “The Only Safe Place.” And throughout the dual guitar melodies and power metal riffing from Mark Caro and Danny Oliverio are the perfect match with Towers’ sharp-edged voice.
Supposedly certain band members of Abattoir thought this record came out too commercial. That statement (if true) always puzzled me. “The Only Safe Place” has all the good elements of an independent traditional metal band. Real metal, if you like. Who knows what the real regrets are. Abattoir members should be proud of this album. What matters is that this is a solid album no matter what the musicians involved thought of it.
Rediscover it if you find it.
Label: Combat – 88561-8112-1
The entire album can be listened via YouTube below.