Satan is a heavy metal band from the UK formed in 1979 and is recognized as one of the pioneering bands that shaped the sound of the legendary NWOBHM evolution during the early eighties. Along with bands such as Angel Witch, Diamond Head, Praying Mantis, and Venom, the iconic sound of the NWOBHM was forged, a sound that went on to dominate the world through bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Saxon. ‘Court In The Act’ – the band’s debut album released in 1983 – is widely regarded as one of the first albums to incorporate thrash metal. Satan released their second album ‘Suspended Sentence’ in 1987 and has also changed their name twice, releasing albums under the names Blind Fury and Pariah. The band has also undergone a number of personnel changes over the years, featuring members from Atomkraft, Avenger, Blitzkrieg, and Persian Risk in their line-up, and has also disbanded a small number of times as well. The band got together for a one-off performance at the 2004 Wacken Open Air Festival (in Germany), re-uniting in full seven years later and releasing two more albums – ‘Life Sentence’ (2013) and ‘Atom By Atom’ (2015).
The band’s fifth album ‘Cruel Magic’ was released in 2018 and was rammed from start to finish with classic sounding, traditional heavy metal. ‘Earth Infernal’ – the band’s sixth full-length album – released in 2022, is a fast-paced and thunderous gallop of bludgeoning heavy metal. Featuring lyrical themes surrounding the climate crisis and how humanity is destroying its home planet, ‘Earth Infernal’ is a heavy-hitting, attitude-laden forty-seven minutes of relentless fury. From the off, the album is quick outta the gate with ‘Ascendancy’ – ferociously powering forth with fire and brimstone feel, crackling with menace and fear. But that said, the infectious level is off the fucking charts – Satan delivering an opener that is both addictive and catchy, making you want to hear more. And hear more you will, as the band moves swiftly on with the pummelling ‘Burning Portrait’. Satan has always stood at the heavier end of the heavy metal genre compared to their peers, their brand of metal knocking on the door of thrash. And with ‘Burning Portrait’ portraying a heavy stomp that could easily appear on a thrash metal album, Satan continue to straddle the border between these two great genres of metal.
With no let-up in heaviness, the album storms on with the classic NWOBHM sounding ‘Twelve Infernal Lords’ – the guitar sound so synonymous with the legendary metal evolution of the eighties. ‘Twelve Infernal Lords’ will have heads banging vigorously, the rhythm of the song a relentless barrage of infectiousness. Satan has pulled out all the stops over the albums opening three songs, and I have a feeling they’re not gonna get pushed in until the album is over! At just two minutes and fifty seconds, ‘Mercury’s Shadow’ is the shortest song on offer – but what an impact it makes! Hitting heavier than what has gone before, ‘Mercury’s Shadow’ is an infectious instrumental gallop – a bold, blunt, and brash barrage of heavy metal to maintain the vigorous headbanging that every listener is surely performing. Picking up speed and storming on, ‘A Sorrow Unspent’ sets an incredible pace that will have heads rocking back and forth faster than ever. Yet the band maintains the sky-high infectious level the album began with! Satan may be one of the elders of heavy metal, but boy they are still delivering the goods with a youthful energy that many younger bands don’t even have!
And without dropping the album’s intensity, ‘Luciferic’ moves stealthily forward, the menacing feel of earlier brought back to the surface. However, sewn into the fabric of ‘Luciferic’ is a melodic underpinning, that lifts the song to a completely different plane than any other offering on the album. Satan is truly a one-off with its own unique style and approach to heavy metal – but can also deliver a barnstorming gallop of the traditional foot on the monitor fury, courtesy of the pulsating ‘From Second Sight’. Head bangingly addictive and delivered at a pace synonymous with classic NWOBHM, ‘From Second Sight’ is a majestic march of British heavy metal. ‘Poison Elegy’ maintains the traditional feel, Satan proudly waving the British flag, just as they have done since 1983. Satan is not just another metal band – they are an institution that every metalhead should know about, with their debut ‘Court In The Act’ quintessential listening for the aspiring heavy metal fan.
With just two songs left to go, the band doesn’t drop their intense pummelling of the senses, picking up speed with the red hot scorcher ‘The Blood Ran Deep’. Mosh pits the world over will be in a frenzied state of excitement as ‘The Blood Ran Deep’ screams by in a flash! The final song on the album ‘Earth We Bequeath’ is the longest song on offer, clocking in at nearly six minutes in length – and is also the slowest. Not doom metal slow but anthemic metal slow – the heavy foot stomp as menacing as anything heard so far. There are faster passages, but the root pace is slow and heavy. And there you have it – a highly intense album of classic-sounding traditional heavy metal from one of the metal pioneering bands – Satan.
Overall, a ten-song battering of skull crushing heavy metal from one of the genres pioneering bands – Satan.
Twelve Infernal Lords
A Sorrow Unspent
From Second Sight
The Blood Ran Deep
Earth We Bequeath
Release Year: 2022
Label: Metal Blades Records
Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, and Metal-Roos.