Satanika - Nightmare - (8/10)
Published on February 3, 2014
The prolific Italian black thrash act known as Satanika return once again with their third full length entitled Nightmare. The band’s previous releases were solid slabs of thrashing metal with dashes of blackened aesthetics and satanic imagery but they were missing something. It could be that the band was dabbling with less than perfect production or that the riffing was somewhat repetitive or that there was nothing really separating the band from the massive surge of Italian thrash metal on the market. Whatever the reason for Satanika’s middle of the road releases, they have fully kicked things into gear with Nightmare.
Perhaps the band has finally realized that good thrash metal should be nonstop riffing. Every track here is in fine form, musically. Songs like “Blood Orgy of the She-Devils” call to mind early Kreator while “Mask of Satan” summons the band’s inner Skeletonwitch and Warbringer. It would seem that Satanika is finally coming into their own form of blackened thrash that actually lies between those two sides. Nightmare is heavily inspired by the blackened thrashing of Skeletonwitch, the youthful energy of Warbringer and the Teutonic bashing of Sodom and Kreator. It’s a formula that works well for Satanika. Perhaps the facet that works best here is the band’s ability to shift gears and tempos without giving two shits. “Steel Aggressor” shows the band going from catchy, traditionally inspired riffing into a blistering thrash piece without missing a beat. And the rest of the album follows suit, seeing Satanika quickly switching between catchy riffing, pummeling blasts and punkish romps.
Nightmare is not without its quibbles though. A few sections see the drums plodding along while not really following what the rest of the music is doing. Example: “Deathwitch Possession” when guitars are delving into punk inspired riffing with a few tempo changes and the drums just plod along with a double kick that doesn’t change for the entirety of the segment. Most of the vocals here are gritty and raspy, yet in a deep, shouted delivery. There are a few Warbringer-esque falsettos, that just don’t really cut it; they sound extremely forced and out of place. Now we’ll get into my least favorite part of Nightmare; the damn intros. Every single freaking song has some type of spooky, horror style intro or a satanic rite or whatever. “Blood Orgy of the She-Devils” is downright silly and breaks my focus, but with a track name like that, what should you expect. Fun trivia note: “Sacrifice the Bitch” uses the same intro that Persuader’s “The Hunter” used way back in 2000.
It’s good to see Satanika finally coming into their own sound. They’ve only been around for five years, but they have become quite a prolific act. I’d rather prolific acts release good albums than mediocre drivel (not that Infection was drivel, mind you). Satanika kept their over the top satanic imagery and learned how to write some solid riffs. If you worship the blackened throne of Skeletonwitch and the early works of the Teutonic titans, check this album out. It’s a solid slab of somewhat blackened thrash that will get your head banging.