Geordie metallers Satan first came to prominence as part of the NWOBHM movement in the late seventies and early eighties. They were considered as a proto thrash/speed metal band and were a cutting-edge band at the time. The band reformed in 2011 much to the delight of their loyal fan base. Satan signed with Metal Blade Records in 2018 and released Cruel Magic the same year.
Their latest effort, Earth Infernal tackles subject matter around climate change, politics, and capitalism. Very heavy topics for a very heavy band! The album was recorded in their home city of Newcastle with Dave Curle handling the engineering and mixing of the album with help from the band in the creativity department. I absolutely love the sound of the album; it has a rawness but still enough polish to highlight the great musicianship of the band. It has that NWOBHM feel, the instruments sound ‘real’, I’ve gone on record before stating my dislike of the sound of many of the NWOCR bands that seem to be everywhere and sound the same. None of that here I’m pleased to say!
Opening track Ascendancy kicks off with some nice twin guitar melodies before breakneck drums kick in and take the track into full-on headbanging mode. Vocalist Brian Ross wails away, his range is really shown off here, he sounds incredible. Burning Portrait highlights the skills of drummer Sean Taylor, his jazzy style gives him a Bill Ward vibe that fits perfectly here. Twelve Infernal Lords has an early Maiden feel with the twin guitar attack of guitarists Russ Tippins and Steve Ramsey. The instrumental Mercury’s Shadow starts off with some atmospheric acoustic guitars being strummed aimlessly, the track builds nicely after this and showcases the band’s musical chops.
‘A Sorrow Unspent’ is another barnstormer, a real earworm this one! The album continues to impress with other highlights; ‘Luciferic’, ‘From Second Sight’ and ‘Poison Elegy’. ‘Earth Infernal’ is a quality traditional heavy metal album with strong songs, performances and production values, a very enjoyable listen. The album artwork by Eliran Kantor is fantastic too. If you love your old-school metal, you’ll love ‘Earth Infernal’, there’s plenty for rabid metal fans to sink their fangs into here. Hail Satan!!
Author: Kenny Kendrick