Flesh For The Devil (Reissue)
posted on 5/2007 By:
With old-school death metal experiencing a sudden resurgence in popularity, metal labels are more and more often touting long-running DM bands as underrated legends who were at some juncture crucial to the scene’s development. Sometimes this is in fact the case, as with Sweden’s Vomitory (who I had the pleasure of seeing at MDF this past weekend), but more often they are simply repetitive coulda-beens who were of only localized significance, if any significance at all. Sadly, such appears to be the case with Pennsylvania’s Sathanas, who here deliver a completely innocuous MCD of dragging proto-death metal that would have sounded a little behind the times at the band’s long-ago formation.
That formation took place way back in 1988, and Flesh for the Devil sounds just like a slightly cleaned-up garage band imitation of the extreme metal of the day. Sathanas take the sloppy, blown-out superthrash of Possessed or Scream Bloody Gore-era Death and slow it down to way more manageable middling tempos, tossing in a dash of black metal in the vocals to ensure almost complete musical ambiguity. These guys could be early death metal, early black metal, or even just an unusually lazy and rumbling thrash act. The very eighties-metal stylistic androgyny is matched perfectly by the lyrics, which are all harebrained Satanism of a truly teenage variety. Though this band released their first demo nearly twenty years ago, I have a hard time believing they’ve changed a bit since they started bashing out power chord riffs in someone’s wood-paneled garage in western Pennsylvania. A reasonably clear but somewhat underpowered completes the vintage feel of Flesh for the Devil.
Unless you’re a total fiend for this kind of throwback extreme metal or you want to hear what it would be like if Slayer took some downers and played South of Heaven, I can’t recommend that you pursue Sathanas. As usual, the problem with these olde-tymey-deathe-metal outings is that the same style was done better and with more youthful exuberance twenty years ago by the bands that popularized the style in the first place. Only a few can be legends; these guys aren’t even close.
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