Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Satan's Host: By the Hands of the Devil (2011)


I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it a million times again from now: I am not a fan of power metal. But when I say that, I really mean I'm not a fan of the uber-cheesy European-style power metal. Soulless shred and, frankly, pansy-ass singing does not interest me. But in fact, I love American-style power metal. There are so few bands playing it (Nevermore, Iced Earth, Jag Panzer, and Norway's Communic) that sometimes I forget it even exists. But what does exist usually blows my mind.

By The Hand's Of The DevilI picked up By the Hands of the Devil from Satan's Host based on a recommendation from Metallattorney, who called it an album of the year contender. He is not wrong. The sound is based in the thrashy American vein of power metal, with highly aggressive riffs and the good kind of over-the-top vocals. The Tyrant (also of Jag Panzer) sounds like Communic's Oddleif Stensland at times and at other times like Dio. As far as the riffs--have you ever wondered how blackened power metal would sound?

Pretty fucking awesome, that's how it sounds.

Satan's Host are at their best when they go full throttle, working tremolo riffing into their thrashy assault, drums blasting or filling, and vocals soaring. Check the title track for a perfect example. But they are accomplished at slower speeds as well, mastering drama and emotion on cuts like "Before the Flame". The songs are a trifecta of catchy, aggressive, and evil. There's not much more to say. You need to hear it for yourself.

The Verdict: Ever since Nevermore's big letdown last year, I've had an itch that I couldn't scratch. By the Hands of the Devil scratched it raw and left me bleeding. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.


  1. Very glad you enjoyed that one as much as I did.

  2. Nevermore power metal?! The funniest thing I've read in a while

  3. Sure they are. It was a little more straight-forward earlier in their career (as Metal Archives and Allmusic both agree). They've added a lot more elements, and it's become some kind of progressive power/thrash/groove metal. But if you want to boil down their genre into two words, even today, I don't think you can do better than "power metal".