One of the finest moments of the NWOBHM era is, withouth the slightest doubt, this two tracker of Newcastle’s SATAN, the band with the ultimate metal band name. While “Kiss of Death” is heavily inspired by early Iron Maiden and the instant hit here, “Heads will roll” at first seems to be the weaker song. When you listen closely though, it’s turns out to be phantastic too, especially from the pianissimo break on. What I also like is the singer’s breaking voice when he’s trying to scream highly pitched. I love these little “imperfections” in great music. Another detail I love is the snotty fuck-you-tone you can notice on the backcover and the bits and pieces I can make out of the lyrics. This is really one pearl!
SATAN’s next release after this was (apart from the two massive tracks on guardian’s “Roxcalibur” comp. LP you can easily get on CD – do get it!) the incredible “Into the Fire” cassette. Especially the version of “Trial by Fire” with it’s opening lead and the third guitar track (which is missing on the slightly faster album version) leaves me breathless whenever I hear it. “Court in the Act”, the album from 1983, had BLITZKRIEG’s Brian Ross on the micro, one of my fave singers ever. This LP is one you must have. The weird style mixture of seemingly satanist imagery with lyrical themes you’d rather hear from a Punk band (the combination of the name Satan with the atomic mushroom is really bizarre). The music is so richly filled with melodies and power, it’s scary. I have never heard any of the later releases and I somehow doubt it’s necessary.
Another imperfection here is the fucked up printing job on the cover. I seriously wonder what the guy was thinking, seems like he printed the color black before red and the backside is a catastrophe too. I hope they got the covers for free at last.
This would be one new category in music: Records with covers fucked up at the printer’s. My old label’s first press of “Slave” by INFEST would be in this category too.
And finally, here’s a video from the the band’s gig in Holland in 1983. The singer with his Freddy Mercury style has got to be seen to be believed. Too bad he’s so loud in the mix.