Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Satan-Life Sentence

Listenable Records

When I first heard that a new Satan album was on it's way in 2013 I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas to finally arrive! As "Siege Mentality" (a teaser single that was released ahead of this album) had left me longing for more this new disc I knew that this "Life Sentence" was going to be good. I just didn't think (or even dare to dream) that it would be this good! When it did finally show up in my mail-box (thanks to some friends/tape traders from over in Europe) it blew away all my preconceived notions. If you're younger though you might be asking what's so special about Satan? Well, ask any N.W.O.B.H.M. fan to name some of their favorite artists of said genre and chances are pretty good that Satan would be mentioned. In fact, "Court in the Act" (Satan's 1983 album) is considered to be one finest album's to come out of that time period! What's more it's especially easy to see/hear the correlation between Satan's sound on their debut album and what would end up being called Bay Area thrash. Band's like Metallica and Megadeth owe a huge debt to Satan as their early proto-thrash sound would go on to be one of the defining influences of America's thrash scene. While the group did release a slew of other recordings (incl. the sophomore follow-up LP "Suspended Sentence")  nothing has ever compared to that first album. Blame it on line-up changes or lack of a clear focus, but, whatever the case, while their debut-album was sensational the follow-ups were only solid. On Satan's "Life Sentence" we're treated to the same line-up that was in place for "Court in the Act" and, without blowing too much smoke up in the air, the results speak for themselves. With "Life Sentence" I have another album to add to my best of list for 2013 and, if I so desired to do such an article at the end of this year, I have an album worthy of the "come-back album of the year" award! That says a lot as there has already been a slew of killer albums released by veteran acts of the eighties. Of the ten cuts there's hardly a dud to be found as Brian Ross (who sang on "Court In The Act") and company play with the same killer instinct that made "Court in the Act" such a masterpiece to begin with! In a way "Life Sentence" picks up where "Court in the Act" left off and, as you listen to these 10 cuts in all their glory, you can't help but take notice that this is how heavy metal/thrash metal sound always sound. As it borders on thrash "Life Sentence" would be an easy sell to both young and old metalheads alike. The music is a million times more impressive then what passes for power metal/thrash these days as these gentlemen know exactly how to craft heavy, memorable metal. "Life Sentence" is metal done right and whether you're a fan of old or someone just starting to get interested Satan & the whole movement this is a must-own. This one is simply killer folks.

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