Satan's Empire were one of the great throng of bands riding the crest of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal back in the late 70s, early 80s. They never made any real impact at that time other than having a track (more of which below) feature on a compilation cassette of NWOBHM bands and supporting the legendary Budgie at a festival in the band's home town of Dundee in 1981.
Fast forward nearly forty years and Satan's Empire’s first commercial effort is due for imminent release. The current incarnation of the band consists of Derek Lyon, whose voice bears a remarkable similarity to that of Biff Byford of metal stalwarts Saxon, the twin guitars of Paul Lewis and Sandy McRitchie, bassist Wayne Hudson and Gary Bowler on drums.
If you were a fan of this band, having to wait such a long time for their first album, you'd be seriously annoyed if the wait wasn't worth it. Fortunately, there are no such concerns here! This is a very fine release with ten slabs of traditional, classic metal brought bang up to date with a production that is clear, gives the vocals and instruments room to breathe and doesn't sacrifice any of the heaviness.
Each track has something to commend it, with a top notch performance on every one. Amongst the standouts, are 'Soldiers of War' (the track that featured on the aforementioned compilation and made some waves in metal circles at the time), which is the longest song on this release at nearly eight minutes and features some quite complex twists and turns along its duration; 'Shout It Out (Hail!)' with its massive riff; and 'Dragon Slayer' which features some Van Halen-esque guitar.
All in all, this is an excellent release and one has to wonder about the career the band would have had if this had been released back in the early eighties. Possibly one to rival Saxon or even Iron Maiden, who knows! I just hope it doesn't take another forty years to release the follow up as I probably won't be around to enjoy it!
Review by Dave Uphill
16th June 2018
1) Slaves of Satan
2) Shout It Out (Hail!)
3) Satan's Empire
4) Soldiers of War
5) Dragon Slayer
6) Come Back
7) On the Road to Hell
10) Suicide Man
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...an excellent release and one has to wonder about the career the band would have had if this had been released back in the early eighties. Possibly one to rival Saxon or even Iron Maiden, who knows!"