• Satanarchist – First Against The Wall

    Satanarchist – First Against The Wall
    Released by: Satanarchist
    Released on: June 2nd, 2017.
    Purchase From Band Camp

    A two piece hailing from Portland, Oregon, Satanarchist is made up of John Edwards on guitar and vocals and Mark Nunziata on drums. Both men formerly served time in Spectral Tombs and this new album is a follow up to their self-released 2014 debut, Making Threats At Punks Again.

    Paradox opens the album up with a nihilistic blast of crusty d-beat style insanity. The vocals have a guttural quality to them, not so much howled as they are growled, while the drums don’t let up with their bombastic assault for the entire three minutes of the track. Boil Alive is a bit more creative and impulsive sounding, there’s more going on here than just the blast that the opener had to offer. It’s fast and brutal, sure, but there’s a bit more melody here even if it is decidedly dark and twisted. With the third track, Tempest Of Sorrow, the band sort of mixes the qualities of the first two tracks together into a track that is as interesting and unexpected as it is metal thrashing mad. This band does not lack in intensity at all.

    With Be At Peace, a track that clocks in at just under five minutes, the drums again are really upfront and in your face. Underneath the percussion, however, Edwards’ vocals sound like something from the pits of Hell while his guitar bounces from riff to riff without ever slowing down. It’s impressive, actually. Feast starts off with an Iron Maiden-ish gallop but close to a minute in that all changes very quickly. The drums speed up, the guitars get heavier and Edwards just goes off. It’s one of the more interesting tracks on the record because it does the blackened thrash/d-beat thing well, but not in the way that you’d expect it to. Unknown is a five minute track that starts off as a slow sort of doomy jam that gets heavier as it progresses. Edwards’ vocals are even crazier here than on the songs that precede it, especially once the duo puts the pedal to the floor about half way in. Triumph sees the guitar playing get a bit more unique here.

    Lent Is Theft blasts straight ahead for two and a half minutes, the most aggressive and intense and straightforward track on the album. As First Against The Wall comes to a close, the penultimate track, Suffer, starts off with an unexpectedly mellow introduction, the calming sound of a guitar playing against some sparse drums in the background. About thirty seconds into the four minute track, however, that all changes with the arrival of some demonic sounding vocals, howled from the depths of Hell! The instrumentation slows down to a crawl, then blasts at about a thousand miles an hour for the rest of the track, a striking mix of thrash and fairly traditional black metal.

    Oddly enough, the album ends with a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s Silver Ships Of Andilar that clocks in at just under seven minutes in length. It’s interesting how this remains recognizable when compared to the original recording, but Satanarchist clearly put their own sinister, heavy stamp on the song. It’s an interesting experiment from the duo, one that really stands out and ends the album on a unique and distinct note that somehow manages to stick true to their established sound while branching out in terms of tone and rhythm.

    Check out a live version of Tempest Of Sorrow below.