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Satan’s Host formed way back in 1977 as a classic American metal band not far removed from Priest and Maiden.Though lurking in the shadows for years, they weren’t able to get anything released until 1985 when the band was joined by the ever mighty Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin of Jag Panzer fame.
They broke up immediately thereafter, only to reform in 2000 to record a follow-up that never saw the light of day due to Spinal Tap-esque drummer issues.
Well, obviously they just don’t trust fate to be kind, so they recorded everything they ever scribbled on a cocktail napkin or bathroom wall.
But can such a metallic version of era Judas Priest, with nods to Jag Panzer and American metal acts like Helstar, but it’s way heavier with black metal influences creeping in and out.
Founding guitarist Patrick Evil has a solid outing too, providing a mighty host of power thrash riffage and solos of the manic and tasteful variety.
He does a lot of interesting things, even on the songs that don’t fully click.
You’ll enjoy them while they play, but several don’t stick and you’ll be hard pressed to hum them as you powerwalk to Sunday mass.
Issues aside, Tyrant is a helluva unholy ringmaster, sounding like classic Tyrant, but also like Russ Anderson of Forbidden and a whole lot like King Diamond too.He also lapses into King Diamond falsettos (“Embers of Will”) and borrows King’s sinister crooning (throughout “Valley of Blood” and “Soul Wrent”).“Fanning the Flames of Hell” features quirky riffing akin to Falconer or Tyr; they dabble in grinding proto-doom on “Soul Wrent” and adopt a classic metal style during “Lady n’ the Snake.” All work and entertain.It’s amazing how well his voice has held up considering he’s been at this since the early 80s.His highs are as high as ever, and though he goes off-key here and there when hitting the stratosphere, it’s hard to criticize the man’s mammoth pipes.On the standard length album, this is a problem, but on a double album it becomes a blight.