1988 History Of A Time To Come

last updated : 12/8/18

HISTORY OF A TIME TO COME

AUG 1988:

Can you give any details on the album? “The title is ‘History of the Time to Come’, it sounds like one of those silly concept albums but it’s not. It’ll be recorded at the Horus Sound Studio in Hannover and will be produced by Roy Rowland, in Berlin. All the tracks from the ‘Fragments of a Faith Forgotten’ demo will be on it and also ‘The Thirteenth Disciple’ from the Friday Rock Show session, plus other tracks such as ‘A Church Bizarre’, ‘I for an Eye’, ‘Behind the Crooked Cross’ and the instrumental ‘A Dead Man’s Robe’”.

SEP 7 1988 – A WEEK OF PRE-PRODUCTION OF H.O.A.T.T.C BEGINS IN LONDON WITH PRODUCER ROY ROLAND

SEP 14 – LEFT LONDON AND TRAVELLED TO HANNOVER TO HORUS SOUND STUDIO TO BEGIN RECORDING H.O.A.T.T.C

“Roy has helped us a lot and encouraged us. We wanted everything to be 100 per cent right.” Martin said. “He really understands our music and made sure that the feeling was right in each song. I think that that is the difference between us and a lot of other bands. We put a lot of emphasis on the atmosphere of the songs and tried to avoid clichés.”

“While we were recording he [Roy Rowland – producer] turned off all the studio lights and had candles flickering, which made things pretty hard for me,” recalls drummer Simon. “He really got into it.”
“He got up at six o’clock in the morning to record a thunderstorm for the song ‘Dead Man’s Robe’,” says Frazer. “He was out in the front yard with two microphones in the pouring rain. Then he edited it and stuck it on the album.”

“Doing the first album out in Hannover was a great experience,” recalls Andy, “‘cos none of us had ever been abroad not even on a family holiday type of thing. The idea of four lads going out to Germany for five weeks, getting pissed and recording an album was a right laugh. I remember drawing a swastika on Martin’s head when he was unconscious!”
“I’ve been bought drinks and a meal once for telling this story,” Martin admits, “On the ferry to Germany, me and Simon had shared a bottle of Jack Daniels and passed out. They woke me up in the morning by chucking a pint glass of water over me when we landed in Holland. Noise had sent us on the train – 24 hours to bloody Germany – and I’m wondering why every customs guy is picking on me. It wasn’t until about sixteen hours after we’d got off the ship – we’d been across the Dutch border, the Germany border – and on one of the trains they had little vanity mirrors on the back of the seats, so I turn round and realise in marker pen I’ve got a pair of glasses, a Hitler ‘tache and a swastika on my forehead!”
“And a pair of fangs,” corrects Andy. “It looked good. It did look good. I think you actually swung for me after that.”
“Did I? Here’s me wondering why all these customs guys were checking my arms for needle marks.”

JAN 15 1988 – HISTORY OF A TIME TO COME IS RELEASED

“We’re all really pleased with the album,” enthuses vocalist and lyricist Martin Walkyier. “Roy’s done a really good job and put in lots of ideas. I think it was the sort of thing he has always wanted to do but didn’t have the opportunity.”
“We’re really pleased with the production,” agrees Andy. ” The mixing time was a bit short though, because we spent so much time on the recording side, and the odd guitar bit isn’t there because we had to rush the mix.”
” But obviously we look at it that with a bit more money and time it could have been better, but for a first album we’re all pleased with it,” Martin concludes.

The first thing that strikes you about ‘History Of A Time To Come’ is the impressive cover. Painted by John Blanche of White Dwarf it is the perfect visual accompaniment to Sabbat’s sophisticated lyrical imagery.
“John is really into our ideas and wants to make the same kind of statement with his picture that we are doing with the music,” says Martin. “He has designed a character that can change and develop with out ideas in the future. ” Eventually, if the album does well, then I’ll get a costume like the character on the cover.” The character concerned is a wild-eyed Shaman Priest, crouching on an outcrop behind a rich yellowing tome. His arms are thrust outward from his wasted pale-skinned frame in a futile gesture of defiance, an extravagant untamed blond mane reaching frantically across the sky behind him. Yet the illustration is far, far more than merely that. Each aspect of the character is symbolic, raising constant references to Martin’s expressive lyrics. The cover is the conceptual hook upon which much of Sabbat’s diverse imagery is hung, the themes behind songs like ‘For Those Who Died’, ‘Horned Is The Hunter’ and ‘Behind The Crooked Cross’ being reflected in the artwork.
“The character represents a combination of Christ, the Anti-Christ and someone we call the Techno-Christ,” explains Martin.”He has antlers on his head which symbolises the Lord of Nature, and a black crown of thorns to represent both Christ and the Anti-Christ. Although there is no cross, he is standing with his arms outstretched to symbolise the crucifixion. He is also wearing a sort of half-mask with pipes coming out of it to show that he is not just a character of the past and of the present, but of the future as well; an eternal character.
“He is dressed in tattered robes – like the ones that Christ was actually crucified in rather than the nice red ones he is often depicted as wearing – to show that the true ways are not through riches but through spiritual well-being. In front of his feet there is a richly-bound book, but the pages are blank to symbolise the worthlessness of the written word, the Bible in particular. And there is a cut across the pages of the book which is starting to bleed, symbolising the blood that has been shed in the name of Christianity.”

Your first album was a great success. Did Noise anticipate this? “No,” laughs Andy. “We know that because at first they said there would be no compact disc and after about two weeks of its release it did around 20,000 straight away and lo and behold a CD popped through my letterbox. It did a lot better than everyone anticipated.”

TRACKLIST:

Intro

A Cautionary Tale

Hosanna In Excelsis

Behind The Crooked Cross

Horned Is The Hunter

I For An Eye

For Those Who Died

A Dead Man’s Robe

The Church Bizarre

ON VINYL:

German LP Testpressing 1988

German LP 1988

French LP 1988

US LP 1988

Canadian LP 1988

ON CD:

GER CD 1988 ORIGINAL PRESSING

US longbox blisterpack CD 1988 ORIGINAL PRESSING

EEC CD 1988

German CD 1988

German CD REISSUE?

Beware of this Russian fake of the German CD

German CD 1993

German CD 2000

German CD 2003

US CD 2003

Russian CD 2005

ON TAPE:

German Cassette 1988

French Cassette 1988

US Cassette 1988

US Advance Promo Cassette 1988

US promo gold stamp Cassette 1988

Canadian Cassette 1988

Malaysian Cassette

Thai Noise/VPN Cassette?

FEB 27 2007 – EXPANDED CD EDITION RELEASED
[ORIGINAL PLANNED RELEASE DATE MARCH 26]
CONTAINING BONUS LIVE TRACKS RECORDED IN EAST BERLIN MAR 4 1990

ON CD:

Expanded Edn EU CD 2007

Expanded Edn US CD 2007

Expanded Edn Brazilian CD 2007

Expanded Edn Thai promo CD 2007

ON VINYL:

UK black vinyl testpressing 2LP 2008

UK 2LP Red vinyl 2008