Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

On This Night Between Four Walls of Doom - 94%

CHAIRTHROWER, April 26th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Underground Power Records (1st Edition)

Windy City rivet heads, young and old alike, have cause to rejoice thanks to Satan’s Hallow and its self-titled debut released on April Fools Day by Underground Power Records. Far from a joke, this Chicago based quintet is nothing less than the genuine article in terms of unpretentious and passionately delivered “old school” heavy metal.

Opener “Reaching for the Night” sets the album’s tone with the same vigorous flair as say Witchfinder General or Pagan Altar from days of old, wasting no time in taking the listener on a compelling trip down metal's memory lane with its hard-driving no frills approach. You’d think this was recorded back in '83! This is raw, “meat and potatoes” heavy metal, devoid of frivolities and certainly proving its merit by way of instant appeal and high replay ability. The lead guitar playing in particular gets right down to business in terms of creative phrasing, skilled technique and spot-on timing. Spectacular musicianship aside, Satan’s Hallows’ front woman makes quite an impression right off the bat. Her vocals are comparable to Night Viper’s: passionate direct, and devoid of silly “metal queen” nonsense. They’re also tinged with a subtle warble, lending a slight banshee-like appeal to her voice, which fits right in with the music and the band’s overall mood. This is quite pronounced on the two and a half minute long “The Horror”. Her eerie crooning on the chorus put me under her spell, to say the least:

“Don't meet her gaze, don't be a fool
Cover your face and feel the wind –so cruel
Reaching out through the dark night
She will meet her end in your mirror
Just turn away from the eyes of The Horror!”

Alternatively, she goes straight for the jugular on “Hot Passion”, which features kick-ass, mood-lifting lyrics. The third verse in particular leaps right out at you: “Hot lights, stage fright / I’m gonna strip the paint from the walls/ Scorched earth, live birth/ I’m gonna fly before I fall”. Of equal import is the rapid succession of natural harmonics which follows the first and fourth verses, as it blows me away every time. If this gem fails to get you pumped, we may as well tag your toe and shut the drawer.

“Black Angel”, is another humdinger which gets my blood pumping and makes me want to throw my fist in the air. The main riff is laid back and forthright at the same time, and features more priceless barn burning on behalf of the guitarists (they're definitely at the top of their game on these back-to-back tracks). Yet, their chemistry is so good it’s hard to distinguish between the two. The rhythm section is no slouch either and provides a welcome backbone to the album’s crisp, treble oriented production.

As inferred by the other reviews (“You've Chosen Black, I Go with White” and "Killer Debut") Satan’s Hallow goes above and beyond most “so called” traditional metal bands. In fact, this welcome discovery brings me back to when I was six and stumbled upon my older cousin’s vinyl copy of “Defenders of the Faith”. As a curious and impressionable little kid, I was like: “Whoa! This is ‘Heavy Metal!’ Satan’s Hallow’s self-titled debut provides a similar nostalgic feeling. In essence, this roughly half hour/ nine track effort is imbued with a seldom found atmosphere and, to quote Twisted Psychology, “is energetic, catchy and fun”. I’d also recommend this release to fans of older female fronted bands in the same vein as Girlschool or Phantom Blue as well as present day luminaries Huntress, Lady Beast, and the above mentioned Night Viper. Rest assured Satan’s Hallow gives them all a good run for their money.