Satan's Empire – Rising
(3MS Music – 2018)
Some bands have taken rather a long time to get their debut album out. Try 39 years for size, as per the case with NWOBHM returnees Satan's Empire.
The London-based Scots fivesome failed to last the distance back in the heyday fluttered back in recent years, making themselves known again with a slot at UK classic metal event Brofest. Joined by former Motorhead/Bernie Torme drummer Garry 'Magpie' Bowler, mainstays messrs Lyon, McRitchie, Lewis and Hudson finally got their heads together and more importantly an albums worth of new material.
Listening to 'Rising', eff knows what it's going to take to convince people this album was only created in the last couple of years. From the slick trad metal opener of 'Slaves of Satan', through the 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' stomp of the title song, onto the blistering olde worlde Maiden assault of 'Soldiers of War', any loather of real metal is advised to flee their trench as these lads have little shortage of grenades to throw your way. 'Dragon Slayer', 'Come Back' and 'On The Road To Hell' are galloping battering rams of British hard rock with huge high pitch solos and fist shooting intensity that fails to send up any breaks, save for the gaps between numbers.
'Lucifer' opens with an-only just legally Smith/Murray rented lead riff, before tearing into a progressively flavoured thrasher - one of the absolute standouts here. 'Politician' begins with a bouncy triple beat step , slides into a slow staggering dirge then shoot up into a high octane metal pace, as in the vein of the album's earlier tracks, with McRitchie and Lewis's twin guitars coming out at their tightest.
'Suicide Man', a speedy Motorhead-edged cut closes the show with a strangely sweet taste kept in the mouth for the rest of the day after. I can't even pretend to say that others will struggle not to laugh at some of the titles on this album but those who respect the roots of true homegrown heavy metal will love this ever bit as much as I do (and that's coming from a born-again Christian).
Anyone who also caught German power metallers Glory Daze's smashing 'Octovirus' album a couple of years ago is especially advised to wallow in a bygone era now un-gone once again.
By Dave Attrill
EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Diamond Head & Wolfsbane