Review by Jason Guest
Image is everything. In biographies, many an extreme metal band makes many a claim about their indulgence in the dark arts and provides many a promo shot of the appropriately grimaced band in some derelict or mysterious landscape and brandishing some symbol of their devotion to the dark lord of being very naughty indeed. Satan’s Wrath’s proclamation that their musical abominations will make “Priests vomit in agony”, their control of 13 – yes, 13! – Satanic covens worldwide and their accompanying promo shots may well prompt much in the way of mirth and merriment. But Satan’s Wrath knows the score. Their image has been knowingly constructed to deflect derision and leave it to the eye of the beholder to make of it what they will. So while you’re searching for them on the internet trying to figure out who they are or how real or “kvlt” they are, they’ll be blasting out their, erm, “devotion” to the dark deity in nine tracks that make explicit reference to the canon of 80’s metal. Venom, Bathory, Possessed, and more make their presence felt in these tributes to the glorious prince of darkness in whose glory we should bask, gloriously of course.
Accompanied by Stamos K. on guitar, Satan’s Wrath’s vocalist, bassist and drummer’s name will be recognised as the ex-bassist for Dorset doomsters Electric Wizard, his sole appearance being on their 2010 album, Black Masses. Under an appositely malevolent moniker and “blessed by the forces of the archfiend”, Tas Danazoglou has returned to deliver “satanic necrometal drenched in sacrificial blood”. The pulse of a solitary bass note, agonised screams and evil chants of opening track ‘Leonard Rising – Night Of The Whip’ heralds the beginning of an album that revels in the dark side. NWOBHM tempos and harmony guitar lines are juxtaposed with thrash riffing, maniacal lead work, and as-evil-and-as-metal-as-you-can-get diminished chord structures. Being a bassist, Danazoglou’s rhythm section is tight and focussed and he combines the two instruments as one to provide a solid metal foundation. His bass lines, erm, gallop along with all the force and might of Steve Harris on steroids. Though no virtuoso, his drum work is formidable in its emulation of all that he pays a distinct nod in the direction of. And vocally, his black metal rasp complements the lyrical lauding of Lucifer perfectly. As for Stamos K., his riffs and his tone are evilness embodied and his lead work and harmony lines are striking. Together, this devilish duo makes one hell of a hellish racket.
With Satan’s vast armoury of sonic malevolence discerningly plundered, it’s apparent that it’s the metal canon that Satan’s Wrath worship, something that’s been in vogue for bands for a while. To produce something wholly original is more than a challenge given the master works left behind by metal’s many innovators and Satan’s Wrath are more than aware of this. They make no bones about hiding their devotion to that mammoth body of blackness to which we are all indebted, and so whether pastiche, parody, or homage, Galloping Blasphemy is just a fucking great metal album. “The only band in the world in communication with thy master through ceremonial black magic and necromantic rituals”, Satan’s Wrath is most certainly upon thee. Erm, Hail Satan?
7 out of 10
- Visit Satan’s Wrath at Metal Blade here
- Leonard Rising – Night Of The Whip
- Between Belial And Satan
- One Thousand Goats In Sodom
- Hail Tritone, Hail Lucifer
- Galloping Blasphemy
- Death Possessed
- Death To Life
- Slaves Of The Inverted Cross
- Satan’s Wrath