Satan’s Fall – Destination Destruction (Steamhammer / SPV)

Monday, 30th October 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Originating in 2015 as Satan’s Cross, these Finnish gentlemen quickly modified their name to Satan’s Fall – releasing a demo, EP, and singles leading up to their debut album Final Day in 2020 released on High Roller Records. After a couple of lineup changes, the band is now ready to roll out this second album Destination Destruction on a bigger label, still content to churn out an 80’s-inspired heavy metal style that contains everything from hard rock to speed/black metal influences. While many specific traits come to mind as far as riffing influences, hooks, and melodies, there’s a special raw purity in other aspects that keep this band easily engaged with their target audience.

Beyond the endearing Teutonic-oriented guitar riffing/harmonies prevalent from the duo axe team of Tomi Mäenpää and Ville Koskinen, there’s a special interesting raspy quality to the main voice of singer Miika Kokko that screams metal to the core – allowing “Swines For Slaughter” to be a front-half highlight, especially as the gang-shouted background support brings the chorus to indelible territory. Running Wild, Accept, and W.A.S.P. appear to be three main checkpoints for musical engagement – the mid-tempo rhythmic “Afterglow” as well as speedier, more sophisticated “Kill the Machine” two headbangers that showcase the band’s energetic approach, providing fluid lead breaks, pounding bass/drum foundational work, and the spirited vocals grabbing the listeners by the head and not turning them loose until each song’s triumphant conclusion. Where these musicians separate themselves from the pack is in terms of diversity – injecting some cultural/Irish-tinged guitar action for “Dark Star” as well as tender, thoughtful acoustic activities and lower melodies during the six-minute ballad “Monster’s Ball” where Ville and Tomi once again showcase some melodic to shred-oriented lines that accentuate the killer main riffs. Those who invest in the CD version of the record will get two bonus covers – a German soap song as well as “Go Go Power Rangers”, giving insight into the childhood influences that can be reinterpreted into fist waving anthems of the heavy variety.

Satan’s Fall sits in that 80’s-oriented heavy metal tree that takes advantage of current production values while not forsaking the purity of the genre at hand. Which makes Destination Destruction full of energy, great songs, and could allow the band to vault up the ranks if they continually pull off live what they’ve set forth so far on record.

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