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solid release - 80%

gk, June 4th, 2009

Americans Sathanas formed in 1988 and have been around for more than twenty years now with an unrelenting old school black thrash attack. The band has really not progressed in any way from the days of their debut Black Earth except in the most important way. They’ve steadily become better and better at writing kick ass hymns to the horned one.

Nightrealm Apocalypse is the band’s seventh and latest release and continues the Sathanas tradition of satanic extreme thrash metal that has hints of black and death metal while always making sure that the riff is supreme. The album is all slow to mid paced with one kickass riff in each song that is ably backed up by the rhythm section and a raspy blackened shriek that is used very effectively. The band also makes use of backing growls in a very controlled and well thought out manner to heighten the aggressiveness of these songs while retaining that pure old school vibe at all times.

Stand out tracks include album opener Over Falling darkness where the riffs sound a bit like Cerebral Fix initially before a blackened riff kicks in at the bridge. Title song Nightrealm Apocalypse is just a touch more up tempo than the rest of the album and also blacker than anything else on the album. It has a powerful central riff and sounds like a slowed down Desaster. Black Witching Millennium is another mid tempo thrasher that owes a bit to Prime Evil era Venom and is another ass kicker. Demon Hell Storm is the most overtly catchy song on the album with its rock n roll riffing and satanic attitude while One With Satan is more old school thrash-death-black goodness with another mid tempo start and a terrific build up before ending in an a fast aggressive manner.

You’d think that for an album that largely relies on mid tempo riffs and has ten songs that all essentially follow the same format Nightrealm Apocalypse would get boring pretty soon. The good thing is, it doesn’t. Every song has a kickass riff and the band has really worked out what they’re good at and stick to it. There’s no unnecessary flash, there’s absolutely no fat and the band is kicking some serious ass.

Get this album, down some beers, fall down on your knees and get ready for some serious Satan worship with Sathanas.

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Sathanas - Nightrealm apocalypse - 60%

Phuling, April 16th, 2009

The last I heard of Sathanas was the "Flesh for the devil" tape (well, in all honesty the MCD re-release of it), and there’s been a lot going on since the recording of that one. They’ve released a couple of fullengths and a split, and here comes another fullength. But not much has changed music-wise.

"Nightrealm apocalypse" shows off more satanic blackened old school death metal, without any ultra-blasting drums. And it’s quite unusual to find metal bands of any extreme kind without blasting nowadays. I mean, when Sathanas gets going it’s still slower than the slowest breakdown of Throneum, the closest comparison that comes to mind. But this still feels like miles away from said band, since it doesn’t carry the same ferocity and chaos, but rather a die-hard old school atmosphere. But, what shouldn’t have remained as old school is the production. If the album just had a fuller, thicker and chunkier sound it would’ve made a much deeper impact, packing a much heavier punch. As of now it’s rather thin and screechy, which however feels truer to the roots.

While the core of it all remains death metal, the riffing is flavoured with tons of black metal, as well as a high dose of thrash. It feels a bit like Possessed teamed up with Venom, adding a dash of Six Feet Under-groove. And groove is an essential ingredient here, as everything is based upon the riffing tempo, whilst the high-pitched vocals add a touch of brutality to it. But honestly, this is not really my cup of tea. Not saying I need blazing speed to enjoy music, but 38 minutes of it is too much for me. However, the title track is seriously arse-shredding, and I’ve found myself to be humming the tune tons of times.

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