Blood Harvest (2014), Proselytism
December, 2010 / August 4th, 2014
Release length: 25:32
Satan Tottendemon Victory!!! is clearly influenced by the olden days of the genre, standing on par with the likes of Kataklysm and Immolation. A surprisingly crisp production brings the violent output of the instruments to life on each track. The guitars carry a slightly sharpened edge as they dig away against the deeper bass guitar and superb levels from the all around crisp drum kit. The impact of the music itself is matched with the visceral guttural vocals and random rasps that make the overall offering sound that much tighter and ominous, a sensation the introduction “Salve Satanas” doesn’t quite capture. The crowing of [what I suspect to be] ravens against the crackling of fire with various raspy and deeper voices acting as a hellish chant ultimately sound a bit cartoonish due to the effects utilized. Thankfully that tone is not carried throughout the rest of the album.
“Celestial Ceremony” performs in a steady, commanding manner that shows a bit of Black Metal influence to the hopelessness thanks to the chugging riffs in the main verses that refuse to let up, almost droning the pattern into a marching rhythm. Some additional complexity comes into play about seventy seconds in for a brief guitar solo, shifting back and forth through the rest of the performance. “Buried Throne” introduces that constant beating approach once more until nearing the half way point. The pace slows down to a crawl, pulling away from the charging style of the guitars to held notes that feel like a hefty burden as you trudge on to one last burst of violence to wrap things up. “Curse of Megatons” starts by hammering away with that unstoppable speed and force you were greeted with at the start, but like “Buried Throne” slips into that slower crushing tone just past the minute mark, and again towards the end, offering a short break from the non-stop pace. While a great example of what the band is about, these are far from the best this recording has to offer.
“Intro/Panzerkampfwagen” charges on after the air raid sirens that suit the incoming aural attack through the strong groove established in both the leads and bass guitar, all the while the drums hammer away furious with various mixtures of machine gun bass kicks and furious rhythms that try their hardest at not being too repetitive, succeeding in every way to make this stand out against the eight other uncompromising tracks. Another of which is “Divine War.” It’s unsettling leads in the main verses do give way to a groove approach pulled straight out of the nineties Cannibal Corpse playbook, all the while backed by a solid drum presence that keeps the mandatory headbanging going despite a slight shift to more technical material that breaks the band’s hold on your temporarily.
The only gripe that can really be said for Satan Tottendemon Victory!!! is that it rarely steers away from the blistering pace. While this is far from a bad thing given how well Diabolical Messiah actually pulls it off, there are moments you wish the band would do a little more than stick to what seems like the close or similar beats per minute intensity in every song. “Celestial Ceremony” is a prime example due to how repetitive it becomes by the end, leaving you waiting for some kind of shift that just never occurs. Some additional slower passages aside the few that exist, even extended guitar solos would be nice. There were a few times that the music left me expecting a turn towards some Dying Fetus grade Hardcore authority, and while something like that would have been a welcome change of pace to break things up a little bit, avoiding it and long slams that creep along like Incantation have been known to do ultimately help the album flow smoothly from start to finish.
As stated above, the initial pressing of Satan Tottendemon Victory!!! was strictly limited to one thousand copies in digipack format. Considering it’s going on four years since its release, chances are finding a copy will be pretty hard, if not incredibly costly. This is where Sweden’s Blood Harvest Records comes in to save the day, issuing this album’s first official vinyl pressing. This isn’t a new mix or mastering, nor does it include any bonus material, which actually would have been a nice little treat. The artwork also seems to be the same outside of the vinyl itself, which is presented in both your standard black and a limited edition clear vinyl with blood-red splatter. The label has also made it easier for you to hear this hidden gem by making it available on their Bandcamp page as a digital download, a viable option if import costs for this version still greatly outweigh the cost on many second-hand sites. You can also stream it there if you’re still unsure as to whether it’s worth shelling out the money to add to your collection one way or the other.
Satan Tottendemon Victory!!! is easily one of the most impressive releases to stem from the Chilean world of Death Metal. The loyalty to underground brutality is as strong as it’s obvious worship of the early days of the style’s glory. One uncompromising riff after another, solid groove-laced passages that are impossible to sit still listening to, and performances that rarely let up outside a crushing brief slower pace or transitional silence to move into the next bludgeoning make it hard to walk away from willingly. If you haven’t had a chance to experience Diabolical Messiah, then Satan Tottendemon Victory!!! is definitely a mandatory starting point for fans of merciless Metal. However, the method of hearing it is more a matter of personal taste and availability with the recent vinyl pressing and digital option made available through Blood Harvest Records.
01. Salve Satanas – 0:52
02. Celestial Ceremony – 3:26
03. Buried Throne – 3:13
04. Divine War – 2:50
05. Intro/Panzerkampfwagen – 3:44
06. Curse of Megatons – 3:18
07. Master of Chaos – 2:13
08. Perverse Domain – 2:29
09. Sicarius/Outro – 3:29
|Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10
2014 Reissue Score: 8.5/10