Pain awaits any release that begins with Vampiric monologues stating things like “We dedicate this hour and this power to all metal warriors the true black hearts.” The obligatory intro, however, has little to do with the remainder of the tracks on “Satanic Grimoire,” and as the reviewer of the previous release, “Burning The Born Again,” I must confess that the band made great strides between 2004 and 2006. Although I would not purchase the release or call it definitive I must note the improvements made in hopes that someday the band will release something brilliant.
“666 . . . Mega Therion” opens with a powerful riff and evolves into a SLAYEResque progression before blast beat abuse comes into play. The lead work on this track (and others) shows much maturity in comparison with previous efforts, although none prove memorable in the long term. The title track demonstrates a conscious effort to slow things down and concentrate on composition rather than shock value, although the lyrics again deliver an over-exertion of Satanic praise. Who cares about lyrics when riffs reign supreme? In this venue the band delivers, and that’s all that matters.
As with many Black Metal acts the blast beat habit corrupts the overall feel of many tracks on “Satanic Grimoire.” The tempo often seems unnatural to the musicians, if not a tad forced, but the overall effect of the release is favorable. “Metal From Hell’s 22nd Century” seems a fair blend of the band’s Power Metal past and its present American Black Metal caucus, and the majority of tracks show a band at piece with their common interests. With the exception of three spoken trash tracks “Satanic Grimoire” flows quite well and offers a consistent package. A few key opportunities appear in lyrical structure, but if the band continues to reduce its focus on speed and continues to cater to its true strengths we may see a favorable release from the act at some future junction.
(Online February 19, 2008)