Despite having one of the most uninspired band monikers and some equally clichéd song titles (“Cult Of Blood”, “Kingdom Of The Damned” anyone?), SATHANAS is actually a pretty decent band. They’ve been churning out albums since the tail-end of the 80s, with “Nightrealm Apocalypse” being their seventh full-length effort, and while this is my first encounter with them it has been a positive one.
Nobody in their right mind could claim that these guys are terribly original but they are a prime example of a band making the most of their admittedly limited style. There’s some old school Death Metal present here (think the murky grooves of OBITUARY or a keyboard-less ACHERON, with who they share members BTW), some Black Metal, and even the odd dash Thrash. Couple all this with a vocalist who’s sending his larynx straight to hell and a clear production job and you have a pretty fine platter of extreme Blackened Death Metal that should especially appeal to fans of ANGEL CORPSE or even AKERCOCKE. Sure, the songs do bleed into one another after a while but with standout moments like the relentlessly thrashy “One With Satan” and “Revel In Death” (watch out for the blistering groove around the 2:30 mark) there is definitely some fun to be had with this album. They don’t toss about with too many slow moments and overall a deft balance is maintained between the darker Black Metal elements and the groovy rumble of the Death Metal undercurrent.
I wouldn’t call this one of the absolute highlights of the year but as far as this kind of Metal goes these guys are a pretty safe bet for some pure moshpit pain. If you manage to find a copy and fancy what you’re hearing then also be sure to check out DISSIMULATION, a similar ‘second-tier’ band that deserves more recognition. Good stuff!
(Online May 18, 2009)