30 Years Ago: SABBAT release Blood for the Blood God (White Dwarf Flexi)


Your eyes and mind have been devastated by WHITE DWARF for the past ten years. Now it's time for your ears to get it! Warhammer enthusiasts Sabbat, the speed rock band from the bowels of Nottingham burst out with this specially commissioned Blood for the Blood God disc, just before they're finally let loose on a major European tour!

SABBAT released "Blood for the Blood God" as a free flexi-disc with the November 1987 issue (#95) of White Dwarf (#95), Games Workshop's in-house publication.

This is an early example of Games Workshop, John Blanche in particular, looking to expand their imagery and world into music.

From the White Dwarf #95 article:

The origins of the link between Sabbat and GW go back several years. Martin Walkyier (vocals) and Fraser ('Scit') Craske (bass) were both at Redhill School in Nottingham, where they used to play D&D under the guidance of Andy Caley ('He knew everything about it'). Scit was Jethro of the Tull and Martin played a multitude of Elves - he had a habit of getting killed. Sometime during 1983, they formed a band called Hydra, with a guitarist and a variety of drummers... They were influenced by 'all the usual bands' - Rainbow, Saxon, Motörhead, and later, Venom and Mercyful Fate, a copy of whose album Martin had obtained from a friend who had a more conservative taste. Eventually and inevitably, the band took precedence over games, but they kept up the interest in gaming, knowing that the imagery of roleplaying was something they could develop through their music.
John Blanche heard the band on the Friday Rock show and was subsequently introduced to Scit at a Slayer gig. So, when the flexi-idea came up, John put two and two together and put the idea to the band. They were equally keen to record a track for WD. It was eventually decided to use Kev Bower (ex-Hell) as the producer, and Yew Tree Farm as the studio. The name Blood for the Blood God was taken from the battle cry of Chaos Warriors of the god Khorne. An impending recording session with a German company called Noise, meant there was very little time available, but the band themselves believe they produce their best work under pressure. And three days later, the deed was done.
Visit Realm of Chaos 80s to read the full article.

The band most associated with Games Workshop and Warhammer is of course BOLT THROWER, and there is a direct connection here: "Blood for the Blood God", the phrase ("the battle cry of Chaos Warriors of the god Khorne") and lyrics, were based on the then-forthcoming Warhammer supplement Realm of Chaos. BOLT THROWER titled their second album after the same book.
The other connection is John Blanche, Games Workshop's art director at the time. He approached SABBAT to organise this flexi, and his artwork is featured on the magazine cover. His work was also used as cover art for SABBAT's debut album History of a Time to Come, recorded a couple of months prior, released January 1988; and BOLT THROWER's Realm of Chaos.