Satan’s Host - Pre-dating God, Part 2 - (9/10)
Published on January 18, 2015
Denver, Colorado’s legendary Satan’s Host has been on fire since their grand reunion with Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin in 2009, although he goes by Leviathan Thisiren when performing with the band. After dropping two extremely well-received albums, By the Hands of the Devil in 2011 and Virgin Sails in 2013, it was pretty much evident that this incantation of Satan’s Host wasn’t just a fluke. Combining the traditional power metal of their early material with the black metal sound from their mid-period, the band’s sound is best described as blackened heavy metal. The band returned in January 2015 with another offering, a concept titled Pre-dating God, which spans two simultaneously released albums.
While Pre-dating God, Part 1 showcased a moody almost ethereal sound. There was still a healthy dose of double bass runs and fast paced thrashy riffing, but the overall approach focused on mid-tempo crunch. If nothing else, it really allowed Thisiren to play with his vocals, not only offering one hell of a performance in his usual soaring style, but adding some deep growls and piercing falsettos. If the first part could be seen as the brooding portion, then Pre-dating God, Part 2 should be viewed as a heavier, more aggressive beast. From the opening riffs on “Fanning the Flames of Hell”, you’re guaranteed to have a wild ride across the Styx and back.
Combining galloping guitars with blistering double bass patterns, Pre-dating God, Part 2, brings riff after riff of blackened heavy metal. “Soul Wrent” pulses with an unholy swagger while “Lady ‘n’ the Snake” pits downtrodden riffing against fast double kicks. Classy solos swirl in and out of the fast paced blackened heavy metal attack, bringing a traditional feel, but the galloping riffs and blasting drums keep things from sounding the least bit dated. It’s not all fast paced belting though, as “Descending in the Shadow of Osiris” focuses on mid-tempo pacing, even if the drums are still on fire for the entirety. The instrumentation is stellar, yet everything is overshadowed by the vocals of Thisiren, as he brings his most diverse and intense performance of his career.
With only six tracks, and one of those being a remix of a track from Pre-dating God, Part 1, this is a quick and intense affair. With By the Hands of the Devil and Virgin Sails both nearing the hour long mark, it’s understandable why the band split this concept into two concise albums. Pre-dating God, Part 1 may have some dark and brooding undertones, but with Pre-dating God, Part 2 the band delivers a quick and effective chunk of blackened heavy metal. If the band’s post 2009 material hasn’t convinced you yet, then Pre-dating God, Part 1 and Pre-dating God, Part 2 will completely seal the deal. Fiery and blasting yet controlled and melodic, all set to the power of Thisiren’s stellar vocals.