Well here’s a band that has completely slipped by me over their 30 year existence during which time they have released nine albums and 16 various other releases meaning I have lived under a proverbial rock it seems as they now release their tenth full length. During my research on new bands I usually have snapshot listens of a bands discography to get an idea of how a band has progressed during their time but doing that with Sathanas would mean I would still be doing that for weeks so I’ve gone into this album cold so to speak.
You know how you expect the style of the music to be based on a band’s name, album title and album cover, the proverbial judging a book by its cover, I did the same with this album, it has the hallmarks of a black thrash album, the band’s name, album title and cover art all hint at the genre, as I especially like the emblematic cover art. However once the album hits off with “At The Left Hand of Satan” the release sits very comfortably within a blackened death metal trench that boasts a bludgeoning production especially the low end tones courtesy of the drum work and bass. The oblique shifts in pace are often accompanied with thundering double bass runs which I am a complete sucker for and always have been as the momentum is retained for “Of Wrath And Hellfire” which fires out a catchy riff, keeps the pace mid-tempo and sets those neck muscles in tune with beat of the track.
Parts of the riffing are thrash like to my wizened ears as on “Throne Of Satan” as the vocals have a Bathory like tonal rasp throughout the album making the songs venomous. I must admit that by about half way I felt the tracks were becoming difficult to discern from one another but I did enjoy the whole catchiness of the song writing as on “Raise The Flag of Hell” with its pumping beat or the crunching double bass infestation start to “Sacramentum” which owes plenty to Bathory.
Anyone who likes punchy blackened death metal should give this band a listen if unfamiliar with them like I was, their innate ability to write short catchy vitriolic songs is very good and worthy of investigation.
(7/10 Martin Harris)