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From the flame-trodden bowels of the great land of Greece come the two-man slaughterfest Satan's Wrath, and here we have their debut album "Galloping Blasphemy", a cool little blackened thrash gem courtesy of Metal Blade Records. While this album is probably nothing you haven't heard before, it's still a pretty damn entertaining 41 minutes, totally chock-full of ferocious shredding, loads of riffs and all Satan, all the time. Let's dive into the flames...
Satan's Wrath is made of guitarist Stamos K, while Tasos "Tas" Danazoglou, best known as one-time bassist for doom metal heavies Electric Wizard. Tas takes care of the duties of bass, vocals and the drums. To be totally honest I'm not sure is his drumming was separately recoded or if it was a drum machine, but either way it isn't too awful; just your basic fast thrash metal drumming. The bass is buried a bit as you can imagine under the drums and guitar, but it does shine with a few cool fills and mini-solos. Tasos' voice is cooly evil and dark, like he was gargling glass while Ol' Scratch was giving him some singing pointers. I'd say his technique is most comparable to the similar demonic growling of Jeff Becerra of Possessed fame. The main highlight here is the guitar work of Stamos, who completely and totally fucking SHREDS IT UP on here! Seriously, on every song this guy just pulls a badass Bay Area-styled solo out of ass and yet never once are they boring are get to the point of wankery. Real great on him!
If I had one major beef with this record it'd be the production. Not that it's bad or anything, but you have these clearly thrashy but still very clean guitar and drum tones, but then mix it with Tas's blackened growling. At times the two different styles clash, leaving for something of an uneven tone to the album, one part wanting to be semi-technical Testament meets Possessed worship, the other settling comfortably in with grisly Hellhammer intensity. Not an album-ruiner to be sure, but at times annoying all the same. Just choose one tone or the other!
But despite that, this disc's nine songs still kick with solid old-school intensity and catchiness, beating out most other metal albums that try this same thing by a mile. The self-titled track and opener "Leonard Rising: Night of the Whip" are potential masterpieces, each a winding, rocking flurry of devilish times changes, moody bass and some appropriately badass galloping riffage and shredding solos. Then you have some hardass Bay Area-styled thrashers in the charging, chaotic "Between Belial And Satan" and the raging cooker "Death Possessed". A personal favorite is "One Thousand Goats In Sodom", trotting all the way to hell on a catchy stock NWOBHM-flavored main riff and a somewhat speed metal attitude. The only track that doesn't totally rock my socks off is the short instrumental title track, which while far from sucky just passes in a flurry of speed.
Overall, a damn fine, cool as hell itself metal album. The schizo tone of the evil vocals against the cleaner guitars may put off some who prefer their black/thrash metal more evened out in sound and delivery, and while "Galloping Blasphemy" isn't the most original thrash album around, it's certainly a killer listen and very worthwhile. Lots of shredding, lots of riffs, lots of blasphemy. Recommended.