"Predating God, Parts 1 & 2"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Old Nick is keeping his helpers in Satan's Host plenty busy. Hot on the heels of their superb "Virgin Sails" outing comes not one but two albums as a follow-up. A lot of bands that put out double albums fall prey to bloating and long-windedness. Will that dire fate strike "Predating God"?

To some extent, yes. Frankly, "Virgin Sails" is still superior to either of these offerings. But then that was a fantastic record that virtually reinvented Satan's Host, so it was always a long shot that the followup would surpass it. But these are still some strong efforts, very much in the vein of "Virgin Sails", only maybe even darker and blacker. Yes, I think a couple of tunes could have been cut and some others maybe trimmed, but this is still a satisfying listen for anybody who enjoys TRUE power metal with a dark side.

The band still retains the god-like vocals of Leviathan Thirisen, aka Harry Conklin of Jag Panzer. His lungpower is beyond reproach. He lets it all hang out over the course of both albums, including some incredible falsetto shrieks and more darkened growls. But most of his singing is in that clear mid-range that's so powerful. He is nothing but an asset to this band.

The music follows the Satan's Host pattern of melodic power metal mixed with thrash that typified "Virgin Sails". To go over every song over 2 albums would be tedious, but I felt that "Part 1" was superior, with killer cuts like "Valley of Blood" and "Embers of Will". There's also a great cover of Grim Reaper's "See You in Hell", with Leviathan's singing equalling original singer Steve Grimmett. Not an easy task!

"Part 2" has its share of good cuts, like the super-heavy "Soul Wrent" which begins with almost death metal like riffs and the epic "Lady N' The Snake". But things get rather monolithic with the same approach and "As The Dead They Sleep" and especially "In The Shadow of Osiris" are just too long and run out of gas. The last song is a reprise of "Predating God", which was on "Part 1", which did not make for a particularly special ending.

Maybe the ambition of Satan's Host got the better of them a bit here...but not to the point where I couldn't recommend "Predating God" as a worthy addition to your library of hellish tunes.