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Satanic Warmaster is Finnish black metal brought to us by Satanic Tyrant Werwolf, the sole member of the band. Satanic Tyrant Werwolf is the kind of pseudonym that is so ridiculous that it’s actually quite amazing. Whenever I talk about Satanic Warmaster I find myself always referring to his whole name (as you will undoubtedly find out shortly) - it’s fun (even if that wasn't his intention). Enough about his name though, this is some serious black metal - and pardon my joke when I say - seriously good black metal. This isn't black metal for your grandmother, not if you want her to remain living. “Strength and Honor” is grim and nasty. It is also very, very good.
To start, the guitars are shredding. The tone sounds like a buzz-saw, and the riffs cut like one too. There isn't as much tremolo picking on this album as one would assume, but that doesn't mean that this album doesn't reek of black metal. Satanic Tyrant Werwolf puts a lot of variance in his riffs. There are many riffs on this record that are both beautiful and completely evil at the same time (the riff at 2:23-3:21 being one my absolute favorites). There are also a lot razor-sharp riffs that are a full-on attacks (the riff that starts at 1:05 in ““Raging Winter” is a good example). Overall, Satanic Tyrant Werwolf is a great guitarist, and one who not only writes a lot of riffs, but a lot of very interesting ones. And again I want to mention the tone - it sounds really great (the only person who [I think] has perfected the buzz-saw tone to a higher degree is Lord Ahriman).
The drums are outstanding. Satanic Tyrant Werwolf gives us a great mixture of solid blasting and more basic breakdown-like beats. The latter of which are very efficient at getting me to head-bang along (3:44-4:12 in “A New Black Order” is a good example of this kind of beat; 0:28-0:34 in “Night of Retribution“ is also definitely worth mentioning). Lots of good cymbal usage too, which I highly enjoyed.
The keyboards are used sparingly which I found to be nice. A lot of times bands like Satanic Warmaster give keyboards a swift boot-kick because they're not black metal enough. Satanic Tyrant Werwolf however on the other hand, was smart and maximized their effect by not over-using them (3:06-3:45 in “Raging Winter” is a good example of their use).
The production is awesome. Everything (sans the bass - but that’s almost not even worth mentioning on a black metal album) is nicely balanced. Nothing sounds louder than anything else. The guitars sounds great, the vocals have a nice crisp rasp to them, and the drums are clean and decipherable. The production sounds kind of lo-fi, but it sounds way batter than lo-fi. The production is a possible dark horse for the most impressive part of “Strength and Honor”.
Finally, the vocals are superb. Satanic Tyrant Werwolf howls like a wolf, shrieks like a person being chased by a werewolf, and has a low gurgle of someone choking on their own blood [their throat being recently slashed by a werewolf]. Word play aside, Satanic Tyrant Werwolf gives his all here. The vocals are fierce, sinister, and at the risk of sounding cliche - personify evil itself.
In the end this album is quite wonderful; every single song is good and warrants repeat listening. From the beginning of the “Raging Winter” (with it’s fire crackling intro) all the way to end of “Night of Retribution” Satanic Warmaster gives us impressive and blasphemous black metal. It doesn't even really have any flaws. This is the kind of record that modern black metal artists should [hopefully] be striving for as the album sounds great and it’s played great too. “Strength and Honor” is simply put: great.
I first heard this album last year; it instantly stuck in my head as something I can listen too again and again. The opening track "Raging Winter" on "Strength and Honour" begins with the sound of burning, with an eerie echo surrounding the flames. After the first riff hits your ears you have the scene set for the rest of the album, low-fi, dark, depressing and brutal.
The way in which Satanic Warmaster are able to instantly switch from brutal black metal to depressive ambient guitar riffs is quite astonishing. There is also a sense of a dark atmosphere which inhabits every track on the album. Although the drums are typical of the black metal genre they are nevertheless crushing to your ears and effective at piecing this soundtrack together.
As for the instruments:
Electric guitar: The riffs are cold, evil and ugly. Fast tremolo riffs which can suddenly switch to crushing power chords or depressing scales.
Bass guitar: Basically non-existent, as a few reviewers before have said. It can be heard at certain points through the album although it is nothing special.
Drums: Now this is my favourite part of the mixture, crushing brutal and ugly drums, blast beating the way to fucking Armageddon. Even though they are similar on most of the tracks, they still manage to amaze me.
The production of the album, as expected is poor and low-fi, similar to that of Darkthrone or Nokturnal Mortum, although in the end it adds to the dark atmosphere of the album.
Recommended tracks: Raging Winter, A New Black Order and Night of Retribution.
Satanic Warmaster is clearly a kvlt band. It has a funky name that should scare the shit out of children, they wear corpse paint, limit their records to 1000 copies, use extreme ideology for lyrics (misantrophy, racial purity 'n' shit) and take nekr0grim nicknames that would make any other tr00 black metaller with self respect if not gealous, at least think about himself he isn't evil enough.
Now to the sound itself; the vocals carry reminiscences of those found on Emperor's In The Nightside Eclipse, however these are more harsh and filled with hate. Although the album has undisputably an excellent vox, the guitars tend to either cover the vocals or be covered by them. For this layer interference i detracted 5 points. It sometimes leaves the impression that the vocalist can't keep the same distance between his mouth and the mic. The guitar riffs themselver are memorable; following a simple model, still sounding as catchy as hell: three or four notes repeated several times. Just listen to the opening from "The burning eyes of the Werewolf" and you'll start headbanging in no time. That song is arguably one of the finest in black metal. The drumbeats are spread linearly, in simple patterns. Sometimes they sound like guitar notes because of the gloomy production. The bass is...Huh? Bass, what's that?
Over all it's a great album, with wonderfully crafted melodies. You won't find any cold-as-fuck, shivers-down-your-spine-sending tremolo picks, just simple and dinamic riffs filled with simple drumming and hatred induced vocals. The only let downs are the layer interference and the record's length (simply too short). Except for that, it's highly recommended to any black metal fan.
Strength, you pronounce the 'G' goddamnit. Anyways, Satanic Warmaster Blast through not only seven tracks of cult Finnish black metal, but blast through the entire underground 'scene' (i say scene, but Satanic Warmaster fans are few and far apart in Texas) with their first official album Strength and Honor. The stupid controversy that Satanic Warmaster are 'Nazis,' is ridiculous, just because a band has hatred for the Jews, Does not affiliate them with NS. Though the lyrics of 'Der Schwarze Orden' will make you crack a smile (Note what the wind 'blows' away), SnH is a Serious album that gets the point across lyriclly and especially musically, and that point is, Hatred. Blast beats are used efficeintly and they don't get repititive in the least, if you feel the blast beats are used too much, take off your wet panties and stop listening to black metal. The link between albums and the answer to the question how did SW go from Raging to Depressing is noticeable in tracks like 'The Burning Eyes Of The Werewolf' and 'Wolves of Blood and Iron.' It may not be noticeable at first but you can see the distant outline of what SW will become (has become). In the end, this album is filthy, get it as soon as possible and fuck to it.
As near to a perfect black metal album as i can think of! This album contains it all - insane vokills that scratch at the fringes of human capability, brilliant melodic (without that being a dirty word) riffing and perfect production.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed with this record if you demand real underground black metal and are sick of Marduk or Dark Funeral or whatever. The next release Black Katharsis is very different and sounds more like Panzerfaust era Darkthrone - i.e, totally amazing.
One thing that isn't mentioned on this site (or indeed anywhere i have looked) is that the vinyl version (which is the version i have) has an 8th track that is not listed on the sleeve. It sounds like its a cover as it doesn't fit in with the rest of the album - it has a an almost "happy" sounding guitar solo in it and is a bit more rock and roll than the usual SW sound. I'm not sure whether the CD version has it or not.
Anybody know what this is?
Artist: Satanic Warmaster
Album Title: Strength and Honor
Label: Northern Heritage
Satanic Warmaster is a band from Finland, playing raw Black Metal. As far as I can tell, this is their first full-length CD.
This is very impressive stuff. Musically, it's somewhere between early Graveland and Mutiilation in execution. Expect rough, screamed vocals, raw guitar, and the occasional background synth. The drumming is especially noteworthy, as it's equally punishing and triumphant.
The songwriting here is quite excellent, and I'd say "Strength and Honor" rivals Graveland's "Thousand Swords" in sheer evocative power. This album goes from brutal to melancholy in an instant, and most of the songs contain more angst than entire albums from most bands. None of these riffs seem unoriginal or overused at all, and the synth is perfectly used to heighten the mood of each song.
Satanic Warmaster's chosen path isn't exactly highly original, but with an album like this, it doesn't matter. "Strength and Honor" is one of the best Black Metal albums I've heard in recent months, and should be heard by anyone looking for honest, old-school Black Metal.
Standout tracks: "A New Black Order", "The Burning Eyes of the Werewolf", "Night of Retribution"
Review by Vorfeed: http://www.vorfeed.net
I can't thank Blackmetal.com enough, because without them doing the US distro for Northern Heritage it'd be hard as hell to get some of these awesome NH releases. Satanic Warmaster, a two-person project of Nazgul and Torech (who are also members of Pest, Horna, and Blutrache - though I confess to not knowing exactly who is in which other band...), and their first CD release, Strength & Honour, is a fucking amazing piece of BLACK METAL. It's so raw-sounding but far from primitive in songwriting that it makes me think of Graveland on Celtic Winter or Carpathian Wolves, but with better drumming (and it IS live drumming). The music cuts between some of those faster-type of Darkthroneish riffs that are epic and melancholy, but with maybe a bit more old-school flair, and slower sweeping sections with light keyboard accompaniment like old Graveland. The production is really gritty like an overdriven 4-track job, but the playing is so tight and the songwriting so good you KNOW these guys can play and write great songs. The ground may seem well-trodden by my description, but there is a real blaze of passion and honesty and the songs are just plain great - honest, raw, epic, hateful, melancholy - this is PURE BLACK FUCKING METAL!!! GET THIS!!!
(Originally published at LARM (c) 2001)