Worshiping at the Throne of Extreme Metal PioneersReview by Metallattorney. He is the law.
Greek band Satan's Wrath make their debut on this release. The band is the new project of former Electric Wizard bassist Tas Danazoglou who appeared on EW's last full-length release but has since moved on. Satan's Wrath is very much Tas's project as he performs the bass, drums, and the vocals with only Stamos K making up the rest of the band on the guitar. Tas has always been something of a menacing presence in EW so this project promised to be intriguing.
Things definitely start out ominously with some bass strings being plucked along with the screams of some poor tortured souls. This immediately leads into an opening guitar melody that would not sound out of place in the opening strains of a Slayer album, just to set the mood.
It is clear that Satan's Wrath was created for Tas to pay tribute to his musical idols. Elements of Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer, and many other bands who helped lay the groundwork for more extreme styles of metal show up at various points on this album. The main riff in "Between Belial and Satan" sounds like it was lifted directly from a Megadeth song, with another one sounding more like Possessed. So Satan's Wrath is clearly a product of a number of early extreme metal influences.
The music here is not meant to be technically impressive. The songs are fairly straightforward without a lot of changes in riffs or tempos. The guitar and vocals drive the album. Tas is a talented bass player though and he does show off this ability frequently over the course of the album. There is an air of the occult to most of the music. Tri-tones and minor chords are used frequently in order to drive home the Satan-centric lyrical themes. The vocals are done in sort of an early Quorthon-meets-Tom G. Warrior grumble, which fits well with the music.
I have just a couple of complaints. The first is the production. There is not a lot of bottom end here. Perhaps it was done that way purposely as metal in the early 1980's did not have a lot of bottom end to the albums. But when the main member of the band serves as the bassist and drummer, it seems like kind of waste to not emphasize his contributions. The other is that there have been more and more groups doing metal in this style and I am not sure Satan's Wrath has really done enough to distance themselves from the pack.
Beyond those two issues, I enjoyed the music on this album quite a bit. This is an impressive debut and I will be anxious to see if Tas keeps this project going or not.
The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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