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Satan's Wrath - "Galloping Blasphemy" (CD)

Satan's Wrath - "Galloping Blasphemy" CD cover image

"Galloping Blasphemy" track listing:

1. Leonard Rising - Night Of The Whip (6:15)
2. Between Belial And Satan (4:45)
3. One Thousand Goats In Sodom (3:52)
4. Hail Tritone, Hail Lucifer (5:57)
5. Galloping Blasphemy (2:36)
6. Death Possessed (3:35)
7. Death To Life (3:25)
8. Slaves Of The Inverted Cross (4:23)
9. Satan's Wrath (6:11)

Reviewed by on October 23, 2012

"The duo from Greece has their heads in the olden days of metal, and has shunned anything deemed trendy or modern from their sound."

Say what you will about how far metal has come from the NWOBHM days, but that period, along with the early thrash and death speed movement, arguably saw metal at its first big peak. Bands like Iron Maiden and Venom were revolutionizing their respective genres, making strides that thousands of imitators have capitalized on since then. Though it’s always smart to look to the future as a musician, there are the bands that peek into the past and plant themselves in that time frame. The early ‘80s are long and done, but nobody must have sent Satan’s Wrath the letter with their throwback heavy metal debut “Galloping Blasphemy.”

With bands like Hell and Angel Witch revitalizing their respective careers over the past few years, a band like Satan’s Wrath being signed to a prestigious label like Metal Blade makes sense. The duo from Greece has their heads in the olden days of metal, and has shunned anything deemed trendy or modern from their sound. The solos are unapologetic shredding, and there’s even a “Transylvania”-inspired instrumental title track with enough harmonic leads to fill an entire Iron Maiden record with. Some may find “Galloping Blasphemy” to be dated, but that’s part of its appeal to the crowd that remembers when metal was about being ugly and evil.

Speaking of evil, Satan’s Wrath revels in the shock tactics of pledging allegiance to Lucifer and inverted crosses. Venom and Slayer did it so well three decades ago, but the conviction from Satan’s Wrath is lacking. It’s hard to take these types of subject matter seriously anymore, unless a songwriter has an excellent literary poise or frightening imagery to sell the listener on the vision. Satan’s Wrath has neither of these, so it’s up to the music to put the band ahead. Thankfully, the band is up to that task on “Galloping Blasphemy.”

Any good metal album, especially one that takes its cues from the past, has to have those ear-catching anthems; you know, the ones that can only be properly heard on a loud pair of speakers. Satan’s Wrath knows this too, which is why they have a song with their namesake and the vicious “Death Possessed” to do the job. The former song closes out the album with lengthy guitar breaks that go on for half its running length, and “Death Possessed” follows up on the excellent title track instrumental with more of the same rousing musicianship that carries much of the album.

Atmosphere is one of the underrated qualities to the album. The static sampling and eerie bass lines welcome the listener into the album on “Leonard Rising - Night Of The Whip,” unveiling a galloping tempo that should be prime for a lively pit. The chains whipping around on “Slaves Of The Inverted Cross” further enhance the sour mood the band seems permanently stuck in. A mellow acoustic outro ends the track on an intriguing note, though it doesn’t really go anywhere.

“Galloping Blasphemy” is geared towards older fans, and those who have caught up with their metal history. There’s a lot of that ‘80s NWOBHM/death/thrash injected into the music of Satan's Wrath, and though it’s about as fresh as parachute pants, the album resonates on pure energy alone. The album stumbles on its uneven first half, but hits a high mark with the title track and never dips from there. Those who still wear patches on their jean jackets, and camp out at venues hours before a show debating whether Paul Di’Anno or Bruce Dickinson was a better frontman for Iron Maiden should be entertained by the retro style of “Galloping Blasphemy.”

Highs: Ripping solos, a throwback to the early days of metal, exciting moments in the second half

Lows: Goofy Satanic lyrics, some may find them copying too much of an old-fashioned style

Bottom line: A throwback to metal circa the early '80s, where bands like Iron Maiden and Venom reigned supreme.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)