The recent resurgence of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) has presented some interesting opportunities for long-dormant bands. We’ve already seen comebacks from Angel Witch and Hell. A few years back Satan reunited their original lineup and last year released Life Sentence.
It sounds like a time portal into the 80′s, with classic duelling leads, fast and furious drumming, rolling basslines and clean (and occasionally shrill) singing. It could easily be mistaken for some unearthed relic and not a brand new album.
Life Sentence is relentless, entirely consisting of breakneck numbers like Time To Die, Cenotaph, Siege Mentality. There are incredible riffs all over this record, but it’s tuneful too, with quality melodies that stick in your head. The songs are tasteful (by metal standards), stepping into realms of the occult, without making a joke of the source material. In a time when pretenders are starting to come out of the woodwork, these originators are proving that the old guard still has a trick or two up their sleeves.
I hadn’t heard of Satan until this year and unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend their Toronto show last month. I won’t miss them twice.