By the Hands of the Devil
2011 Moribund Records
With the news that Harry Conklin had rejoined the band, I have to say that I was not exactly sure what to expect. Would Satan's Host go back to the heavy metal sounds of the debut? Or would Harry have to learn to sing in a black metal voice? As it turns out, neither of these ended up as the answer. Satan's Host 2011 sounds like a classic heavy metal band with a traditional sounding singer, but with black/death metal tuning and distortion. What that means is that this incarnation of the band has a sound that you've probably never heard before. On first listen, it may take your ears a song or so to adjust to what you're hearing. In fact, you're going to want to actively listen to this album, rather than put it on as background music for whatever you're doing. The opening song, the title track, kind of sticks out in my opinion, as it's the most black/death styled song on the album. Is this better than "Metal From Hell"? I'd have to say it's not. But that album is a true underground occult metal masterpiece that gains more of a cult following every year. So really, a comparison is unfair. It's like comparing the original Mercyful Fate releases to the ones they did after they reformed so many years later. It just can't be done, due to the high regard the originals are held in. But the simple fact remains that this album by Satan's Host is most likely the sleeper hit of the year and should not be overlooked.