St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
What a fantastic surprise this one is.
Not because I’m totally unfamiliar with SATAN’s might — even as a self-admitted classic metal novice, my peeled CD-R copy of their cult Court in the Act debut suggests otherwise. It lay mostly dormant until a couple months ago, but still.
No. Like a regular Joe customer, and because I hate the Internet, I was caught completely unawares that SATAN had even reformed until seeing the very recent Into the Void Facebook update. On a casual trip through the ITV neighborhood I dropped in to buy it, sound unheard, on the power of the name alone. The OLD-SCHOOL way for an old-school release. And why not?
I forced our proprietor Shane at gunpoint to play the album on the store’s system. As storms raged recklessly in the St. Paul streets, we were treated to this positively ancient-sounding attack from these NWOBHM vets. This is an immediate, ear-grabbing assault that sounds uncannily as if it stepped out of the finest studio money could buy from 30 years ago in every respect.
The entire Court in the Act line-up is back. The chops here are phenomenal, with nary an anachronistic riff to be heard, warm vocal line misplaced or rhythm off kilter. The mid-paced songwriting is (and I hate this description, but seriously) clever in its internal complexity. The bass lines are fully audible and constantly busy, which in itself is over-the-top proof that SATAN was serious about presenting this record as a true musical throwback to the greatest of the NWOBHM legacy.
It is obvious that Life Sentence as a whole was clearly written, and re-written, and likely re-re-re-written, to leave that sort of impression. By the time the opening riffs of track 3, “Cenotaph,” played, I knew I was going to listen to this album for the entire weekend straight, thus ensuring eyerolls from anybody who spent even 15 minutes with me.
You know what? TOO BAD! SATAN calls! And he’s too busy dispelling my petty grudges with “new” music to care about your boredom. And if you’re bored that quickly by this one, knowing you may have already been a problem.
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