SATAN’S SATYRS, Die Screaming (2014, Bad Omen)
Here we see something not meant for the public’s eyes. Lacking anything but a bony head to work with, a skull needs to get his sexual kicks in ways we fleshy folk might find bizarre. A skull positions himself under any kind of signage dripping blood (you know the signage), causing an agonizing sort of orgasm, all that hot blood splashing onto his face and into his mouth. Hot hot hot! Now, look away. You have seen too much already.
Duty and obsession lead me immediately to song number 5, “Show Me Your Skull,” and what it offers is kind of interesting. I’m highly suspicious of most of these retro-rock/retro-heavy metal bands, who offer absolutely nothing new and usually can’t write songs that measure up with the old masters (Witchcraft being a major exception). But Satan’s Satyrs are interesting. Their guitar tone is jangly and clean, reminding a bit of old ’70s band Dust. The energy is equally jumpy, raucous and kinetic, and the song structures and melodies are redolent of some weird fusion of ’70s-era Pentagram, early Cirith Ungol and classic Kiss. There are whiffs of punk and surf music here too. The ghosts of MC5 and Stooges lurk not very far under the surface. Sorta like if Venom was actually a punk rock band. And that’s just “Show Me Your Skull.” And that’s just the music. The vocals are hugely appealing, partly because they sound like no one else that I can recall. Bassist Claythanas, as he’s known, delivers these tales of pulp novel satanism with a bratty, whiny, fragile, sneering delivery. While that sounds horrible on paper, it actually works to give these songs additional color and intrigue. The rest of the songs are good, with a consistency that offers no standouts but no real duds either. I can’t believe I’m enjoying this retro-steeped album, but then I like a lot of the original bands this is based on, so perhaps it was time that a totally worthwhile band like this came along. Much better than Graveyard, trust me.
— Friar Wagner