Satan’s Host – Pre-dating God Parts 1 & 2 (Moribund Records)Sunday, 18th January 2015
Seems that it wasn’t too long ago that the critically revered yet publicly underrated Satan’s Host had released the excellent Virgin Sails, but low and behold, the band is back and ready for more in the form of two separate offerings of Pre-dating God Part 1 and 2. Not much has changed, but for a band that practically invented its own genre it’s definitely not a prerequisite.
As with anything By the Hands of the Devil and thereafter, it’s fascinating to listen to how Satan’s Host manages to blend together so many different elements into their sound and still be so cohesive. Their knack for being able to fire up the best of power, thrash, death, black, and doom into their unique slurry of musicianship. From the mellower and more epic finesse of “After the End” to the neckbreaking thrashy tempo of “Embers of Will” to burly death metal steamrolling of “Soul Wrent,” it’s impossible to get bored listening to these guys. You are always waiting to see what is around the bend. They even take it back a few decades with a thoroughly ripping cover of Grim Reaper’s “See You in Hell.”
Even with all of the musical diversity, Satan’s Host’s ace in the hole is still that of vocalist Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin. Even comparing Pre-dating God to previous effort Virgin Sails sees him furthering his vocal approach and technique. In addition to the air siren screams and traditional metal territory, he further extends his reach into the extreme metal arena with some occasional burly growls and screams. He is a serious force to be reckoned with and should be considered one of the genre’s treasures at this point.
The only nitpicking here is of the presentation itself, as two individual albums seems a bit of a stretch with two “bonus tracks” (one of which being a reprise of the title track) and a total run time of about 80 minutes. That being said, every minute here is worth hearing and Satan’s Host continue to do an astonishing job of keeping things fresh and entertaining, particularly so for one whose debut (Metal From Hell) is soon to be thirty years old.