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domenica 5 gennaio 2014

Satan's Satyrs - Wild Beyond Belief

#FOR FANS OF: Heavy doom
Lace up your boots, fuel up your hog, and blow your mind because you are in for one hell of a wild ride! In 'Wild Beyond Belief' we have a debut from a band that is destined to be a cult, or a gang at least. I must say, it took me quite a while to actually get a hold of a copy of this release, but man is this some addictive stuff. From the moment I heard the band name, saw the sixties biker movie inspired artwork, and took one look at Claythanas in his teal Blue Cheer tee (I have the same one); I could just tell that this was a band made for people just like me. What Claythanas manages to conjure on this gnarly disc is quire the eclectic platter, with the heaviness of metal, the buzzing energy of punk, and the fuzzed out howl of sixties biker rock. It’s a sound that is hard to pin down at first, especially if one is not well versed in sixties music and movie culture, as seen with the other reviewer here. While quite earnest in his attempt, he seemed pretty out of his element. But for anybody that has really delved deep into the history of heaviness, this album is one of the rarest treats of all. While the term punk rock was already in use by the mid sixties, it would be a few more years before anybody called a band heavy metal. However there were already several bands using taking sixties punk/beat rock formula into newer, more ear shattering realms. Bands like Blue Cheer, The MC5, the Stooges, and Davie Allan and the Arrows (to name but a few) were creating music that would be hailed years later as the true foundations for the metal and punk movements that were still years off. And that point is exactly where this album picks up, taking a prototype sixties punk/metal formula and updating it further with elements of the eighties underground sound. The actual sound of the album is quite strange at first, an ultra low, bass heavy mix completely devoid of treble, and clearly meant to blow your system. The muffled tone and constant tape hiss does give it even more of a vintage appeal however, but I feel like most will be thrown off by the mix at first. The bass is also the dominant instrument, carving out thick punky grooves with a tone that mixes Dickie Peterson with Cronos, for a destructive effect. The guitars are a little lower in the mix, but are a total wash of fuzz and wah, not really chuggy but like a punk tone with sixties classic rock influence, and the leads played are in intermingling of those styles. The drumming isn’t really anything special, mostly just propelling the songs, but at least he bashes it out with true force and rockin’ sensibility. Clay’s vocals are pure howling, drenched reverb and soaked in booze and drugs; imagine the aforementioned Cronos trying to track vocals for Fun House by the Stooges! His voice isn’t really impressive but he sings and shouts with pure lust for what hes doing, with plenty of rock star “Oh Yeahs’ and “Alrights.” When all these elements combine, the effect is pure, nitro burning guitar heaven for a music fan like me, but some metal heads may have a problem with just how pervasive the punk influence is on this record. The majority of the songs are fueled by simple punked up rock beats, so the frequent use of similar tempos may irritate some. However, it could be said that most metal bands have a certain tempo that they ride more than most, and here that beat falls right between punked out thrash, and sub-sonic doom. Also the general picking pattern is punky strumming technique quite similar to that of a band like the Misfits (personal favorite). Certain riffs, such as the melodic chorus to “Carnival of Souls have the Fits stamped all over them, so again, metal heads may not like the general riffing style. Riffing like this though was just as common with fuzzy hard rock as it was with punk back in the day though, and there is certainly no shortage of heaviness anywhere on the record. “Bellydancer’s Delight” may have the heaviest riff on the album, with a stomping doomy verse that could have fit a Hellahmmer or Celtic Frost record. But when you hear that creepy organ signaling the Arrows’s esque rave up that is about to conclude the song, the songs shifts into a gear that has more in common with the Yardbirds than Bathory. The album’s awesome title track closes the disk in fine fashion, summing up and bringing out all the elements that make this such a unique record, and with that super retro organ sound, this song just can’t lose, but it also helps that it features some of their best up-tempo riffing, wich leads directly into a guitar freakout worthy of the Velvets, or Vincebus Eruptum. If anything I have written sounds interesting that I highly advise that you seek out this record, because I simple cannot state just how unique of a record it truly is. With all the retro stoner and doom bands going around, it’s great to hear a band that truly understands the harsh sounds of yesteryear enough to actually turn them into something completely true to itself. If you wanna know what Midnight would sound like if they were a sixties biker gang, this may be the closest thing. However, like I said, if you are not well versed in fuzzy acid rock, and if you haven’t seen the Wild Angels, the Devil’s Angels, or Angels From Hell, you may not know what you are getting into. Better yet, if you don’t know Blue Cheer, the Stooges, or Davie Allan and the Arrows, you better do some serious homework! (Nick Ryder)

(Trash King Productions - 2012)
Score: 95