Paul Tucker – Guitar, Vocals
Bill Davidson – Bass
Jim Strauss – Drums
1. At The Left Hand Of Satan
2. Of Wrath And Hellfire
3. Throne Of Satan
4. Harbinger Of Death
5. Raise The Flag Of Hell
6. Upon The Wings Of Desecration
Sathanas are black/thrash metal legends who formed in 1988, and they are back with their tenth full length album, ‘Necrohymns’. It’s possible the release will make them even more successful than before. Their signature brand is without gimmicks, they instead rely on the music to produce their effects. They are for fans of Master, Nekromantheon, mid-period Darkthrone, Immortal and Dissection.
Whilst this band take their work seriously, they do need some form of musical gimmicks, at least. It is cliched in all areas. The riffs whilst not bad and certainly not ‘wrong’, are the kinds of ideas an amateur guitarist can come up with in a few minutes of noodling. They are highly forgettable. Furthermore, the singer is just another guy screaming. Because of the insufficient backing, he arguably needs to sing some kind of melody to provide much needed musicality. Sure the more extreme Cannibal Corpse don’t sing notes, but their music is crammed full of great riffs that develop well in complex yet logical ways. Not so much, with these guys.
Typically for the genres, the bass’s relatively basic nature tends to go unnoticed. It adds depth to the sound but lacks independence and creativity for the most part. It’s not all in unison, at least and ‘Harbinger of Death’ does have a cool, low end line to be fair. The drumming throughout the record is pretty good and provides some of the strongest parts of the material, even. It’s nice to hear that it’s not computerised, but that doesn’t fix the flaws of the songwriting. Of course music doesn’t have to be complicated, Bolt Thrower for example create very effective music with much more simple ideas. However, Sathanas don’t seem to have the ear for what is truly special and catchy. Few do. But then again, that may just be a taste thing.
In conclusion there is nothing wrong with this material, other than it is ultra-typical and often a little on the dull side. They’re traits that can even be noticed in their name of both band and album. Satan this, necro that, etc. You hear those words ALL the time in metal. The fairly decent musicianship is a plus, but if that’s what you’re into, you will probably much prefer the groove metal band Pantera, or perhaps the much heavier tech death band Necrophagist. Give Sathanas a listen if you’re curious, but prepare to be underwhelmed.