By: Perran Helyes
Satan's Satyrs | facebook | bandcamp |
Released on October 30, 2015 via Bad Omen Records
Just over three years since their debut and the profile of Satan‘s Satyrs, the real flagship band of fledging label Bad Omen Records, within the underground continues to gradually rise, albeit for different reasons than during the first half of their still short existence. Wild Beyond Belief! was a speedy hardcore-tinged bludgeoning of a take on the fuzzy stoner doom template beloved by the scene they’re typically identified with, fuelled as much by Black Flag asBlack Sabbath and churning out riff after riff after riff. After that exhilarating anarchic maelstrom for a debut the cleaner psychedelic rock of follow up Die Screaming might have been a bit jarring for those expecting another hyperactive romp, but while lacking the same raw punch and sense of reckless youthful energy it showed Satan‘s Satyrs attempting more ambitious structures playing with more space and dynamics than before. Throw in mainman Clayton Burgess becoming a member of a little band called Electric Wizard and they’re already a different beast to when they formed in 2009.
Third record Don’t Deliver Us then seems to fall somewhere in between their previous pair of studio efforts. The unparalleled mayhem of Wild Beyond Belief! is still a thing of the past, more groove and boogie than breakneck speed, but this is a grubbier album than Die Screaming with more dirt under their collective fingernails. The keys accompanying ‘Full Moon and Empty Veins’ snaking riff opening the record don’t immediately suggest it, but Satan‘s Satyrs have still got snotty menace in spades. The urgency of ‘Two Hands’, the earworm riff of ‘(Won’t You Be My) Gravedancer’ drilled into the listeners head over and over until they can’t help but move, and especially ‘Creepy Teens’ display the band cranking out tunes that are just too insistent to not get temporarily caught up in. Some moments like ‘Crimes and Blood’ are pretty disposable, but they don’t last long enough to truly derail things.
Burgess’ vocals meanwhile somehow continue to get more and more comical, likely to hopelessly turn off as many listeners as his peculiar yelp will draw in. They do however undoubtedly add to the sleazy and unsavoury vibe, carrying some pretty weighty hooks in tracks like ‘You Know Who’ and ‘Germanium Bomb’ and can be weirdly commanding. Furthermore the more mature and quietly aspiring side that Satan‘s Satyrs brought to the fore in Die Screaming definitely still makes itself known a year later, whether it be in wonderfully titled instrumental ‘Spooky Nuisance’ with a more chilled out jamming vibe descending into a swinging mid section or nine minute closer ‘Round the Bend’, which following an intro showing the band at their doomiest seems to fly through a myriad of sections with racing peaks offset against mellow points where it seems to die down altogether, subtle ride and bass waiting for the right moment to lunge into the action once again.
Don’t Deliver Us seems like a logical progression for a band quietly evolving while staying true to their original mission statement, capturing the violent and sordid spirit of the late 60s and early 70s in a way only really matched by a band like Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats and in a very different way. It’s all very fun and potentially silly but in no way does what Satan‘s Satyrs do sound forced or even overly derivative and faceless; instead for the chosen few, this is a debaucherous treat.