SATAN “Earth Infernal”

By Dr. Abner Mality

SATAN is right at the top of the metal world these days. And I’m talking about the English band, not the guy with horns and tails. With “Earth Infernal”, they maintain the high bar they set with their last album “Cruel Magic”. I won’t mince words...I think this blows IRON MAIDEN’s “Senjutsu” out of the water. There’s more energy, there’s more grit, things are not shined up to a flawless sheen. SATAN themselves admit this in the press sheet: “It seems that anyone can achieve perfection now but, precisely for that reason, perfection really doesn’t mean anything anymore.” Amen to that, I say.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to call SATAN a speed metal band. They play fast on just about every track and their precision picking is a wonder to hear. Like “Cruel Magic”, “Earth Infernal” is full of intricate, almost baroque riffing than is nonetheless catchy. The scorching “The Blood Runs Deep” packs an amazing amount of killer musicianship into a less than four minute run time. Even the brief instrumental “Mercury’s Shadow” grabs your attention and holds on to it.

The ageless voice of Brian Ross also shines as always, but what else is new? I think he must have cut a deal with the guy the band is named for to have such a smooth and tuneful voice after all these years. In fact, age does not seem to touch this band...they are better now than they were in the 80’s. Listen to the like of “Ascendancy” and “A Sorrow Unspent” to hear and believe.

Along with the new SAXON, this is right at the top of the hill so far in 2022. What a tour that would be ...SAXON and SATAN on the same stage! I don’t know if that will ever happen, but in the meantime, pick up “Earth Infernal” for another dose of classic metal mastery.