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The news that former Electric Wizard bassist Taz Danazoglou (y’know, the dude with all those gnarly facial tattoos and the serial killer stare) had left the band to embark on a more evil, Satanic direction piqued the curiosity of metal fanatics worldwide, and his new band’s theatrical press release (“Relentless blasphemy, unholy sacraments of evil made by dwellers of the twilight, horrors that will make priests vomit in agony, abominations that the prophecies of old kept hidden!”) only served to keep the hype machine’s wheels turning even further. Satan’s Wrath’s debut is now finally upon us, but does it really deliver on these blasphemous promises?
Well, for the most part, the answer is thankfully a resounding ‘yes’! ‘Galloping Blasphemy’ reads like a love letter to the 80’s heyday of extreme metal, and connoisseurs will have a blast playing ‘spot the influence’. Just check out the straight up Venom worship of ‘One Thousand Goats In Sodom’ and the Possessed style madness of the appropriately titled ‘Death Possessed’ and you’ll see what I mean. ‘Slaves Of The Inverted Cross’ tips its hat in the direction of early Bathory, whilst ‘Hail Tritone, Hail Lucifer’s chorus is almost a dead ringer for Beherit’s classic ‘The Gate Of Nanna’. The band’s titular anthem closes the record in a fine style, veering more into vintage late 70’s metal, complete with bluesy solos and a central riff that sounds almost like a Satanic Deep Purple from another dimension.
Taz really shines on this release, pounding out a solid battery on the kit as well as laying down the rumbling bass, which rings through with a great tone throughout. His vocals are spot on too, perfectly nailing that trademark first wave of black metal rasp. As for the guitar (the only instrument here that isn’t handled by Danazoglou), newcomer Stamos K cranks out some fantastically primitive riffs, and even throws in a couple of flashy solos for good measure too.
Whilst ‘Galloping Blasphemy’ is a whole lot of fun, it doesn’t quite attain that same evil atmosphere that made all their influences such a cherished part of heavy metal folklore. For all the hype that focused on how ‘kvlt’ and uncompromising this band would be, this is much more of a loving homage than sheer, untamed metal depravity. That said, as long as you’re not expecting this to replace ‘Under The Sign Of The Black Mark’s semi-permanent position on your turntable, there’s no way you’ll fail to enjoy this if you’re a fan of the bands this two-piece are aping. An enormously enjoyable record that’ll surely strike a chord with anyone who digs good, old fashioned heavy metal!
Originally written for http://rawnervezine.co.uk/