Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Satan's Host - Metal From Hell [1986]

We'd better add yet another great album to the list of legendary albums that came out in 1986 with this record. I'm not saying that "Metal From Hell" is legendary or that is of the same caliber as say "Pleasure to Kill" or "Reign in Blood," but it's a damn fine album that deserves a mention or two anytime that unholy year is brought about. Satan's Host are one of the more peculiar power metal groups from the United States, in that they were much darker and evil than bands like Omen, Griffin, Jag Panzer, and many of the other popular US acts in the early to mid '80s. Their lyrical focus was all about Satan, hell, death, and the evil kind of stuff like that, not your normal power metal type lyrics. Another part of their music that separated them from other bands was the production on this album. It's terrible, but in a great way that adds to the atmosphere, similar to bands like Iron Cross or Heathen's Rage. 

Musically, Satan's Host knew exactly how to work their instruments to near perfection. The riffs range from derivative thrash/speed metal blitzkriegs, to complete Motorhead worship, all the way over to stellar riffs that are blended with melody much like many of the USPM bands of the day. "Black Steele" is a catchy, thrashy track sure to get your headbanging and the next song "Into the Veil" is another decent song, but once past those two tracks, "Metal From Hell" comes in and blows the preceding two completely out of the water with a punk-inspired assault and intense vocals that command the listener's attention. Leviathan's vocals are a definite highlight on this record, as he can sing cleanly and beautifully, but can also scream his fucking lungs out and capture an evil, almost maniacal sound ("King of Terror"). The track "Hell Fire" is an epic one that epitomizes power metal with its terrific intro, top-notch riffs and the incredible guitar solos that lead into a clean section where, Leviathan, once again shows off his vocal skills. 

Much like the vocals and guitars, the bassist's performance on this record is fantastic. There are plenty of nice fills, like on "Strongest of the Night" where the bass almost outshines the guitar solos. The bass parts on the intro to "Hell Fire" is another moment that should be highlighted, as it contributed to the overall brilliance of the track. The drumming isn't quite as special as the other instruments, but it's adequate and no complaints can be made. "Metal From Hell" is quite easily a gem of the USPM scene (Which was one of the best scenes around) simply because it conjured evil spirits and demons that other bands simply could not, and for that I salute Satan's Host

"Metal From Hell"
"King of Terror"
"Hell Fire"

Final Rating
Awesome [8.7/10]