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Being frank - 10%

Spatupon, September 30th, 2018
Written based on this version: Unknown year, Cassette, Independent (Reissue)

In the early years of the black metal scene, it was considered to be standard to have terrible standards of production. Sounding as raw and evil as possible was arguably the main goal a lot of black metal bands springing up throughout the years of the 80s and early 90s strived towards achieving. Having bad and less-than-perfect sounding production was seen as a great way of opposing the polished sound of most death metal bands which were seen as trendy by those times' standards. There are, however, certain standards within the raw black metal sub-genre itself. There are bands like Ildjarn and 1389, who although adopting a very raw and stripped-down sound, their music is still audible and distinctions can be made between each song.

However, Satanic Evil, one of the first black metal bands ever to have existed in Finland, and probably the world, chose to take the definition of "raw black metal" and take it to another level. This is not "pure fucking armageddon" level of raw, this is border-line noise black metal. Each strong follow a very basic formula. A few power chords are repeated for an amount of time, and then a different set of power chords are played, and then the song is over. The drums don't really do much to beef up the seemingly hollow music. They can barely be told apart from the overall noisy production of the demo, and when you can actually hear them, they are very simplistic, and mostly just serve to keep the time. When the pace of certain songs has been kicked a notch, the drums just becomes an agglomeration of noise. The vocals are the worst offender of all on this demo. There are a few moments where the evil nature of the attempted black metal vocals shine, however, most of the time, the vocals sound horrendous, and their mixing sounds even worse. It's like they were recorded in a different room altogether from the rest of the instruments, but I guess the whole demo sounds so completely detached that every instrument warrants that same description.

This demo only contains four songs. The first song literally starts out with a barrage of noise, and then some sort of sample from some video or movie is placed in the track. The reason why they added that sample, was to actually give the song a character of its own, rather than simply being composed of just noise. The intro doesn't really prepare you for what's to come, nor does it really add anything to the overall character of the album, so basically it's just useless. The next three songs are quite short, two of them clocking in at less than two minutes, and the last song clocking in at less than four minutes. This makes the intro, and the least essential song on this demo, the longest track. This is obviously the manifestation of the mediocrity in which Satanic Evil dwelled in the early 90s.

The general formula of the other three songs has already been detailed in a previous paragraph, but I also need to point out the extreme sloppiness with which every song is played. It's like the band wasn't even trying to sound decent or marketable to any extent. It just sounds like two non-musicians decided to form a black metal band just for the sake of it, and took its extremes to a new mediocre limit which just makes the listener cringe in despair. The few chord progressions which are present on these songs, do qualify as elementary-school level black metal, and for that, they don't get a complete zero. This band is so obscure and shortlived, that I don't think any black metal band to grace the Finnish scene which came later on can mention these guys to be an influence. Their music is so ephemeral and hollow, it doesn't deserve any sort of attention, except maybe from the most die-hard of fans.

Beherit and Von are not lo-fi enough - 3%

AcidWorm, September 25th, 2013

Satanic Evil is one of those bands trying to sound as raw and evil as possible. The production is arguably the worst production I have ever heard and makes the LLN demos sound like they were recorded in a studio with a big budget. Yes it is that bad. Everything is so lo-fi and incredibly muffled. The drums carry the tempo along at a fairly slow mid-pace with just plodding along on the snare as you can’t hear the rest of the drums. The guitar is a muffled mess just strumming 2 or 3 chords over and over as if the guitarist is just beginning to learn how to play. Even Von sounds technical compared to this. The vocals are random distorted shrieks trying to sound as evil as possible and sound like they came out of some 70s horror movie.

Satanic Evil deserve some recognition for the timing of this release, since it is one of the first bestial black metal demos to come out Finland, and the world for that matter. For this reason I am surprised this demo has not gained more notoriety. It came out the same year that fellow countrymen, Beherit put out their first demo. This really is only worth checking out for giggles or if you are looking for bestial black metal that is even more raw than Beherit and Von.