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Black Diamonds of America I - 98%

GuntherTheUndying, November 28th, 2008

I must say, this can of black metal, when opened, allows you to devour excellence in anyway the consumer deems necessary, but with tasty precision I might add. And no, power metal fans better look away: black metal is the rule, and Satan is the law. Sure transforming so dramatically since something as “Metal from Hell” came about in 1986 looks a little dire at hindsight, yet their standards past the slumber-state has proven this group was not made for that particular sound. “Burning The Born Again,” in fact, is their beefiest release. Satan’s Host tampers with black metal’s foundations on almost dangerous frontiers, but odd ideas work towards their otherworldly progression like it was a match made in Hell. Dark and brooding, the album redefines mastery in musical composition and the band’s underground legacy, much more than anything done before and after “Burning The Born Again.”

Satan’s Host remained completely obscure during their post-Conklin days and switched away from power metal to black metal’s darkest realms. “Burning The Born Again,” however, marks this artificial mastering of something new and daring, attributing massive levels of dynamism throughout its course. The well-aged Patrick Evil stomps out a trail-mix of riffs covered in mid-paced touches, death metal influence, scorched tremolo picks, and solos capable of impregnating anyone in a two-mile radius, including men. The real gold from that assortment is just that: the assortment. His chameleonic guitar actions are majestic notions across several platforms of criteria, and quite diverse in nature as those beefy riffs and solos pave new grounds on black metal’s infinite path to Hell.

But singling Evil out as the faction’s sole contributor would be a little harsh, because those also quartering within Satan’s Host prove one man does not make a group. For instance, Eli Elixir’s demonic vocals are untouchable. I can only narrow down maybe two or three growlers that match his skill at handling low vocals with such ease, plus Elixir’s shrieks are also perfected examples of vocalizing extreme cacophonies. Pete Wicked’s percussion mechanisms colorfully add pure blast-beats, tailor-made patterns at excellent instances, and nutty fills walk among a hearty bass, finger-plucking everything in sight regardless of what enters the musical foundation. Hard to think this band was once driven by power metal; those days look obsolete in comparison.

Needless to say, “Burning The Born Again” truly finds its success after setting aside those twisted riffs, moribund vocals, chromatic drums, and dynamic bass: the primary obscurity within Satan’s Host. As crafty as the record seems, little influences from both metal and non-metal spectrums radiate in poetic intervals. For example, “Ecliptic Equinox” suddenly stops amid its rapid riffing, and then a soft, progressive-laden interlude changes the tempo in breathtaking paths. Still, they can tap into hard rock influence throughout “The Unholy Sabbath” without fault, or explain an acappella vibe during “Luciferian Law Evoked” in fantastic manner. A typical black metal release this is not, but one traveling in experimental waters that cannot drown no matter how hard stormy weathers attack. Indeed, Satan’s Host rules their land with an iron fist; an untouchable law no band can or will challenge.

Satan’s Host’s philosophy is that of a reincarnated nature; a rebirth in the group’s important identity, and one that wipes away contenders, pounding their flesh into dust with just a percentage of might. “Burning The Born Again” grasps unfamiliar characters beyond black metal’s reach, that the sound itself is nearly redefined by the group’s stellar uniqueness and daring experimentation. Rules have never applied to art, and Satan’s Host has more tricks up their sleeves than other black metal factions throughout America, its society, and those stuck inside this fight-or-die ideology. Lucifer can only smile upon hearing something of such revolutionary criteria; his children have indeed reached a vault of gold.

This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com