Satan’s Wrath – Galloping Blasphemy (Metal Blade Records)

Tuesday, 26th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Probably because they couldn’t use one of the name variations for the devil (Lucifer, Belial, Old Scratch, et al), Greece’s rather poorly-named Satan’s Wrath went the direct route for the moniker, which of course, translates into their music being as…direct as possible. The band claims in their bio they’ll make “Priests vomit in agony,” which makes one wonder if someone will eventually spike the drinking water in Greece with syrup of ipecac, so yeah, this is total sideshow, cartoonish death/black metal. Thank goodness these lads are above-average musically or the “legions” would not be happy.

One doesn’t need to look any further than pre-Viking era Bathory for the reference point for Satan’s Wrath. The duo of Tas Danazoglou (vocals, drums, bass) and Stamos K (guitars) don’t do a very good job of hiding their affinity for Quorthon’s seminal works, yet the dynamic nature of a handful of these tracks puts their Galloping Blasphemy debut over the top. It’s a smidge confounding actually, for hundreds of bands on labels like Moribund and Hell’s Headbangers have tried their hands at this sort of thing and have come away looking third-rate, yet here’s predictable and staid Satan’s Wrath sounding decidedly retro and cunning on the thrashing “One Thousand Goats in Sodom” and “Slaves of the Inverted Cross.”

A quick gander at Galloping Blasphemy and the accompanying promotional shots should incite some laughter and the “Haven’t we seen this at least a million times before?” question. We have, definitely. However, there’s something to be said for a band that can take bare-bones elements and reignite the specter of Bathory in such a manner. Way to go, Satan.

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