by Justin Gaines
– Senior Columnist —
Long-running cult U.S. Heavy Metal band Satan’s Host returned this year with not one but two new studio albums, titled Pre-Dating God, Parts 1 and 2. The Colorado-based band has been revitalized since original vocalist Leviathan Thisiren (a.k.a. Harry Conklin of Jag Panzer fame) has rejoined, and with this double release they’ve put out their most ambitious work to date.
If you’re familiar with the previous two Satan’s Host albums (2011’s By the Hands of the Devil and 2013’s Virgin Sails), you know more or less what to expect from the Pre-Dating God albums. The band’s sound remains an intense mix of Traditional, Power and Thrash Metal with machine-gun rhythms, blistering riffs and of course Conklin’s soaring, screaming vocal range. This time around there’s simply a larger concept (a horror/fantasy story that’s as anti-Christian as any of the band’s previous works) to the lyrics.
Pre-Dating God Part 2 is the more intense of the two albums. Where the first album had a more epic feel, setting up the concept, Pre-Dating God Part 2 is all about speed and intensity. It’s wall-to-wall blackened Thrash riffing, and Conklin exercises a more sinister part of his vocal range. Actually, this is probably as close as Satan’s Host has gotten to their mid-period Death/Black Metal sound since Conklin has been back in the fold. The strongest points here are in the middle, with “Lady n’ the Snake” and the hellish “As the Dead, They Sleep.” “Descending in the Shadows of Osiris” is a more epic number, but is no less intense. It would have been cool to see another cover song to round out the album (a Venom track would have been fun), but that’s a minor gripe.
The flaw with both of these Pre-Dating God albums is that you can point to one or two songs that feel like filler, and once you do that you’re left with what really could have been a single album full of “A” material instead of two separate shorter releases. Still, you have to acknowledge the band’s ambition and creativity.
Even though two separate releases might not have been absolutely necessary, there is a lot of strong material on these two albums. Fans of the previous two Satan’s Host albums will find a lot to like here, and the Pre-Dating God albums should also appeal to fans of Accept, Judas Priest, Attacker, and of course Jag Panzer. If hard-hitting old school Heavy Metal is your thing (and you can handle the lyrical content), Satan’s Host is a band that you’ll want to hear.
Genre: Heavy Metal, Traditional Metal
Harry Conklin (v)
Patrick Elkins (g) (b)
Anthony Lopez (d)
1. Fanning the Flames of Hell
2. Soul Wrent
3. Lady n’ the Snake
4. As the Dead, They Sleep
5. Descending in the Shadow of Osiris
6. Reprise: Pre-Dating God (Classic Metal Remix)
Hardrock Haven Rating: 8/10