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Satan > Kiss of Death > Reviews
Satan - Kiss of Death

Primoridal metallic brilliance. - 91%

hells_unicorn, December 18th, 2010

Many have been quick to point out the direct influence that Motorhead, Venom and Diamond Head had on the early development of thrash metal, but Satan tends to be sort of an aside amongst the so-called founding fathers. However, when hearing the two songs that are found here, which have their origin in the very opening of the 80s, one can’t help but take note of the direction that this band was pointing toward. It still retains a strong remnant of the hard rock tendencies of Riot’s late 70s speed work and the punk trappings that could be heard in the faster offerings of Motorhead, but the marriage of this character with the darker guitar tone pioneered by Tony Iommi definitely points towards what Slayer ended up with on “Haunting The Chapel”.

Now the important thing to remember is that this is still very far removed from the dark, tonally chromatic character that personified the 84’ Slayer EP. In essence, “Kiss Of Death” is kind of a fancier answer to Iron Maiden’s “Prowler”, complete with a similarly unforgettable lead guitar theme loaded with wah pedal noise. Throughout the song there is an underlying tendency towards Sabbath-like riffing, complete with constant trill work and brief bluesy lead fills that take their cues directly from said band’s self-titled debut and “Paranoid”. In all, this is a song that perfectly captures that loose, free flowing tendency of the earlier NWOBHM releases that didn’t fully commit to the tighter riff work that more thrashing outfits like Blitzkrieg and Diamond Head imputed into Metallica.

“Heads Will Roll” is a classic example of that crunchy, riff happy, spirit speed metal that is just a little too complex for Motorhead, yet too fast and bouncy for Sabbath. It is loaded with lead fills that intermingle with fairly elaborate riff work and Trev Robinson’s gravely growls, both of which were probably a heavy influence on Dave Mustaine once he struck out on his own with Megadeth. But it can’t be emphasized enough that unlike the aforementioned thrash band, or Maiden when they did comparatively fast songs, Satan is still working with this looser rock tendency that is more readily associated with late 70s and early 80s Judas Priest.

Although a pretty difficult to procure rarity, from a collector’s standpoint, this is a significant piece of early underground Metal history that should definitely be pursued if feasible. It has about the same significance as the early Metallica demos, though obviously there is a bit more hype surrounding them, especially here in the states. And like said demos, it is just a good load of fun to listen to, in spite, or rather because of its archaic nature.

Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on December 18, 2010.

Fucking classic, right to the core. - 96%

Empyreal, November 24th, 2008

Maybe I shouldn't be talking about this one. I wasn't born early enough to be able to appreciate the raw, unadulterated beginnings of Heavy Metal. I was never around when stuff like this was being released. I was a mere afterthought, perhaps a future plan, and it's a damned shame, because this is the music I was born for. Satan (UK) are not unknown in the underground metal scene, with their debut album Court in the Act being a renowned metal classic in any circle that knows their shit. There's a good reason for that, as Satan played a ferociously energetic and youthful form of Heavy Metal with gnashing teeth and bulging muscles - still retaining much of the genre's punk and hard rock rooting in the guitar acrobatics and the vocals, and who doesn't love that? Pussies.

This Kiss of Death single is a testament to underground Heavy Metal, with all the nuances and quirks that the genre was slowly becoming famous for. Comparisons can be made to Iron Maiden's humble beginnings, with the rawer edge in the guitars being present and very vital to the sound, and the vocals being a harsh punk-influenced yammer - this wasn't any normal rock n' roll, oh no. Steve Ramsey and Russ Tippins steal the show here, pumping out a bushel of killer leads and riffs and always staying energetic and at the forefront of the music. The drumming by Andy Reed is also a strong point, keeping up the backbone of the songs with a delightfully bouncy and catchy set of beats, and the bass is even audible, as was the case with a lot of early Heavy Metal, and it's also done very well, gnawing at the back of your mind like a termite as the guitars tear you apart.

As for the actual songs, "Heads Will Roll" is the slightly better cut; a mini-epic with some flashy guitar work and a moody, slower part towards the middle, as well as a better vocal performance. The title track is also great in its own right, a longer, more hard-hitting song with a very catchy melody to it, and goddammit, this is just way too short. If this were longer, it would have earned full marks all the way through, but at least it does serve as a nice little prelude to Court in the Act for all you classic Metal junkies.

And that doesn't even describe this sound as well as I would have liked! This is just classic Metal to the core, and it earns a huge "fuck yeah!" from this reviewer. Go find it, because it is well worth your time. They don't make 'em like this anymore, that's for sure.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com