|A review found in METAL MANIACS Magazine (page 60) July 2002 issue:
SATHANAS "Thy Dark Heavens" BlackMetal.Com - reviewed by Nathan T. Birk
|Despite a few certifiable cult visionaries (Havohej/Profanatica,
Judas Iscariot), American Black Metal has been rather hit or miss
during the past decade, but times are getting better. THY DARK HEAVENS is one
of those increasingly rare records where the guideposts are vague yet
discernible, and even though what thusly emerges may not be entirely
revolutionary, it's enjoyably unique nonetheless.
Supposedly, SATHANAS have been around since 1988. This is the
duo's third long-player after 1995' BLACK EARTH and 1997's UK-only ARMIES OF
CHARON. Rattling along like a train ready to derail one minute,
dive-bombing'n'lunging the other, SATHANAS takes its cues from the
rusty punk-gone-wrong riffing of early Voivod to meld it to a (relatively)
midpaced monster akin to a 'luded-out Bloodthorn, or a technically
proficient Profanatica. At times, the album scurries along to a
stiflingly regressionist beat-- again, like prime Profanatica or Havohej-- but
before calming comfort creeps in, the duo delves into disorienting structures
that shape-shift while remaining ever so linear, faint'n'frail traces of
melody/harmony interjecting just briefly enough to foil familiarity.
And maybe it's the overtones of Death Metal (always a hallmark of USBM),
or the live'n'loose playing and production that makes THY DARK HEAVENS
difficult to pin down, further foiling expectations of familiarity, but both
Bill Davidson (drums/bass) and Paul Tucker (guitar) deliver demonic
that bow to no Scandinavian forebears and forever cement the album as undeniably "American". A bold move, perhaps, but it's not quite as
bold as the frequent clean-chorus slashes of melody in the title-track. At its
core, SATHANAS play primitive'n'raw BM, & such "advances" are usually
frowned upon by the "true". Call that a wimp-out or what have you,
there's no denying the steamrolling drive of the rest of the proceedings.
I'm not quite sure what the next step for SATHANAS should be--
the mindfuck regression/transgression of Havohej's immortal "Black
Perversion"?-- but in the here and now, they've got themselves a paralyzing platter of prime USBM. Recommended.
Nathan T. Birk
|A review in SOD (Sounds of Death) issue# 18 (page 44) Winter 2002:
SATHANAS "Thy Dark Heavens" BlackMetal.Com [9 Skulls] - reviewed by
Octavio Ramos Jr.
|Looking for a dose of old fashioned Satanic Metal without the
modern trappings of Black Metal? Do you yearn for heavy, plodding guitar
riffs and a throbbing, pulsating bass? If these elements are to your
liking, then SATHANAS is what your black heart is aching for. Around since
1988, SATHANAS is basically a two-man band, with Paul Tucker handling
guitars and vocals, and Bill Davidson hoarding the bass, drums, and vocals.
Inspired by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and Satan-inspired bands such as
Mercyful Fate, SATHANAS adds a modern spin to classic Satanic Metal by
incorporating demon-styled vocals and some elements of Thrash, but for
the most part the band plays mid-tempo and creates gigantic bass and
guitar riffs that hearken back to the days when Black Sabbath reigned
supreme. Tracks like "Winged Black Spirit" showcase guitars, whereas tracks
like "To Bring Torture" create bombastic rhythms. Lyrically, SATHANAS keeps
things simple, making some of the tracks a little too superficial for my
taste. Some of the tracks carry an almost pulpish quality. For example,
"Queen of the Netherworld" sounds like something straight out of Weird Tales.
And that is perhaps the band's intent, to create songs that convey
fantastic images and no more. If this is the case, then my hat's off to them.
|SATHANAS "Thy Dark Heavens" Promo CD-R 2001
No packaging or lyrics to go by with this cd-r but the music is certainly speaking
for itself. The main point in the music to me is the creative riffing which is
fundamental in keeping my interest. Sathanas seem to draw the bulk of their sound from the glory days of death metal and they sickly thrash it out in a supreme way. They have an abrasive sound similar to GOTH or Pentacle but add more dissonance
to their guitar work and I feel that they set themselves apart well. This disc is being released by Blackmetal.com soon and I am more than likely going to buy a copy to replace this cd-r. <7.5/10>~ Jeffrey