Monday, October 12, 2015

Review of Satan's Host Pre-dating god Part 1

Whether they’re playing power metal, black metal, or something in between, there’s no denying that Satan’s Host has been pretty ambitious for a band their age. Now on the latest phase of the reunion with original vocalist Harry Conklin, the band has taken the Use Your Illusion route by producing an album split into two halves. The results aren’t exactly distinct from one another but there’s still high quality to be found.

When considering how prolific Satan’s Host has become in recent years, it isn’t too surprising to see them slide into a set style. The blackened power metal of the last couple efforts is at full force as Patrick Evil's guitars utilize tremolo picking and other extreme techniques, Evil Little Hobbit's drums constantly blast, and the vocals cover everything from Conklin’s signature bellows to King Diamond style wails. However, this album and part 2 are more melodic and the harsher vocals aren’t used as often.

Both parts of Pre-dating god go through the same songwriting tropes and are about even in quality, but Part 1 may be the stronger installment. “Embers Of Will” is the strongest track thanks to an ominous middle section reminiscent of Mercyful Fate while the choruses on songs like “Hell’s Disciples” and the title track help keep the elaborate structures memorable. The closing take on Grim Reaper’s “See You In Hell” is also worth noting. It might not have the same evil aesthetic but the amped approach makes it sound as good as it does on paper and you can tell they had a lot of fun with it.

I fail to see how one could only get one of the two, but Pre-dating god Part 1 may be the one to go for in such a situation. It doesn’t stray too far from the band’s recent efforts and has a good mix of melody and aggression for established fans. The two parts aren’t a bad recommendation for newer fans but one may want to go for one of their more solid efforts first.

“Embers of Will”
"Valley of Blood"
“Pre-Dating God”
“See You In Hell”

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