Satan – Life Sentence

Satan_lifeBuried in the wake of Big Four debuts and fading memories, 1983 debut album Court In The Act by Satan nevertheless stands tall as a blinding example of what pure, unadulterated Metal could be. While primarily influenced by the tenets of the NWOBHM of which they were a part, Satan flayed the ears of the unholy with a variety of forward-thinking sonics, combining intricate proto-thrash riffing (reminiscent of early Mercyful Fate in moments), fantastically epic but always tasteful leads, and the completely discernible and professional clean-singing of Brian Ross, whose voice never devolves into self-parody. (if you haven’t heard Court In The Act, stop reading this, look it up and give it a listen). But we aren’t here to focus solely on that thirty-year old classic; no, we have also come to learn what has befallen these elder statesman of the UK scene, and to see what negative effect – if any – the intervening decades have had on their abilities to craft a classic. I am pleased to say:
None whatsoever. Life Sentence is the true successor to Court In The Act (1987 follow-up Suspended Sentence, with its harsher vocalist and drier overall sound, lacked the smooth, potent force of its older sibling). With the original lineup all in place, Satan’s high-flying, expertly-phrased melody lines and riffing have returned as if reappearing, modified DeLorean-style, from the past. Brian Ross croons and harmonizes with the same skill and aplomb as he did in the OG days of straight-up, no-additional-adjectives-necessary Heavy Metal. Members of Satan have, with Life Sentence, taken pains to create that same analog warmth accompanying their early-eighties defining moment, keeping things raw but meticulous, road-tested but reverbed, in the sky and in your face. Too often attempts to rekindle the fire from this time-period end in total failure, but not now. Life Sentence contains all that made unblemished British Steel great – soaring guitarwork, skilled pitch singing, a healthy respect for myth/history – and blessed us all with Court In the Act‘s prodigal son. -Jim

Listenable Records

~ by cliftonium on March 20, 2013.

One Response to “Satan – Life Sentence”

  1. i can’t find a place to hear at least a track off this new album. Court in the Act is indeed a badass album!

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