Satan’s Host – By The Hands Of The Devil (2011)
Man, it’s hard to believe it’s almost 2012. To get it out of the way, I hypothesize that due to all of the crazed jabbering we saw about the Mayan calendar and so forth, that it will be the “Year of the Retard”, in which human intelligence reaches its nadir as people halfheartedly try to cause and prevent the apocalypse. Fun.
But let’s ignore that for a brief moment. This here is By The Hands of the Devil, the latest studio album by Satan’s Host. It’s where the band’s previous extreme blackened death metal reunites with the accomplished power metal vocals of Harry Conklin. Seriously – the guy has excellent range, tone, and his melodies are well written. He has everything – high tenor, Rob Halford style falsettos, a powerful midrange, and a small portion of screeches and growls backing him up. Quite frankly, the performance is impressive, and it acts as an excellent case for the incorporation of clean vocals into more extreme forms of metal. Obviously not everyone wants them, but when used right, they (of course) add depth to the songwriting.
Anyways, despite his presence, this is basically still full on black/death for its duration – there are a few nods to more traditional forms of metal, mostly during the slower sections. The riffing tends towards the more melodic side of the genre, with a relatively low amount of chromaticism and/or pentatonic chord progressions. In contrast to the last covered album, the drumming is far more dynamic, and definitely more audible.
So this album is one of powerful riffing, with varied song structures (there are some verse/chorus type songs, but even those have a variety of sections), and so forth. Lyrics are about as satanic as you’d expect from a band named “Satan’s Host”, which is to say they’re up there with Marduk and Dark Funeral. This would be a flaw on any other album, but the way they’re delivered makes them sound a lot better than they probably are.
Highlights: “Black Hilted Knife”, “Revival”, “Shades of the Unlight”
So anyways, you might want to know what 2012 holds for this blog. A few major points:
- Don’t expect any “Best of 2011” list or anything. I didn’t actually listen to enough albums from the year to make a good decision about it.
- Expect to see some First Contact Is Bad For You paraphernalia. Not sure what yet. It could be some short stories set in the universe, some comics, a video. Don’t know. The sequel is being written as we speak, but progress is slow.
- Flying Pillars Across The Universe is still ongoing. Check it out.
- I am preparing storylines and such for a webcomic project unrelated to any of this stuff. Currently, I am searching for an artist; I could do it myself, but that would take a lot of time, and my interest in drawing things is not very high at the moment.
I also want to draw attention to a particularly laughable bit of junkmail I recieved recently. With the subject “Permanent Blog Post”:
I was looking at your site invisiblesandwichtm.wordpress.com today, especially the (blog, news, post) that talks about (online games, entertainment, hobbies). I was wondering if you could place a link on your site towards the site of my client. How much do you charge for this?
I shouldn’t have to tell you how that’s sad, but suffice it to say that the ‘client’ was not named in the email. Happy 2012, people!