Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Satan's Wrath: Galloping Blasphemy
I'm all for representing the left hand path, the heavy handed cheese with which it's delivered here takes me back to Venom albums of the eighties so the sincerity with which it's delivered with is questionable. Former Electric Wizard bassist Tas Danazolou kisses the goat here and this brings a little confusion as Electric Wizard were from England but this band is billed as being from Greece?
What this album has that early Venom doesn't is prowess, there is more of a thrash vibe to the riffing, where Venom pounded at their instruments in a vein similar to Motörhead, both both bands I felt sat closer to punk. The vocal delivery is not unlike more growled version of Cronos's delivery. The confusion continues as I wonder who is the Leonard referred to in the night of the whip, that opens the album is this Leonard Nimoy bdsm fan fiction? It's fairly straight forward with liberal smatterings of guitar solos proceeding the songs closing gallop.
The Merciful Fate tribute shades the intro to " between Belial and Satan" before the song takes off old school thrash speed. The drums are slavish in their devotion to the lowest common denominator snare snapping of the time period they adore. The guitar is the clear cut winner here .
The gallop of "one thousand goats" is a bestial anthem if not a beastiality anthem, its this more mid paced riff age that the drummer seems most comfortable playing. The solos are melodic here and tasteful, if not at times "kill'em all" Metallica like, which Metallica isn't like that anymre, they only thing with a lot of this retro stuff is I grew up in the eighties so I heard all of this the first go round, while on metal blade records now back in the days these guys would have been on ear ache records for sure.
This vein of melodic Venom thrash, continues on " hail tritons , hail lucifer" and the satanic lyrics as well as the guitar playing is what keeps me on board. When the pace picks up for the title track, which isn't as galloped the goat song , but has some Maiden like harmonic guitar and gets very " To tame a land" . So the gruff vocals obscure some of the new wave of British heavy metal influences. There are a few phrases where I hear Possessed or Coroner in the vocals, though the have decidedly less personality than the vocals of Coroner. While a decent song " death possessed" bleeds right out of the title track, it begins to make me feel like I'm starting to hear a lot of the same from these guys.
In the albums final streach they are hiding any surprises, what I can say I like about this is where a lot of retro thrash are punk rock kids who figured out how to play their instruments, these songs are firmly planted in metal. I think there could be a little more though placed outside the box and the too straight forward route is often taken for my tastes, when some of the ambiance is what makes an album like " don't break the oath" so great and the vocal hooks are what made early Metallica stand out and come to think of it worked for Venom pretty well. Just thrashing for thrashing on the song like "slaves of the inverted cross" pretty much bores me and there nothing the lyrics or guitar solo can do to help. The uninitiated in this genres glory days might be more easily impressed so if you a re under twenty five add a point to this album.
The song " Satans wrath" is catchy wnought to redeem a few of the lulls and could have fooled me that it wasn't on one of the best of combat records compilations from back in the day, the vocals very Venom could still stand to be higher in the mix due to the anthemic nature of the riffs. Too bad this song wasn't the blue print for the whole album, or they might have even blown bands like In Solitude away. Buti think a 6.66 is a fair rating the band should stand behind as they have to know the influences are worn heavily as the metal on their sleeves here. So where Circle of Ouroborus set the standard of how high you can score on here with shitty production these guys scored as high as you can relying on satanic lyrics to obscure the fact there's not any original riffing , so the key is to believe in the riffs you have stolen, making this highway robbery on the highway to hell.