|Black Metal, Hard Rock, Punk
March 6th, 2015
Release length: 20:02
Alive Under Satan packs a good amount of variety across the eight tracks that make up the roughly twenty minutes of material found inside, which winds up being both a good and bad thing. “Berzerker” shows some of that early Punk and Speed Metal influence with faster riffs that benefit greatly from the dual bass guitar presence, as well as some tight two-step and subtle So-Cal touch to the chorus, all of which will remind listeners of revival groups like Superchrist and Toxic Holocaust. That latter atmospheric trait plays a role in the laid back “Mr. Chainsaw” and its generally fun and upbeat eighties Rock overtone that makes it a far grittier and exploitive sounding cut than the crisp production permits. And then there’s “Gods ‘n’ Slaves”, which is an interesting cut with how it mixes together the vile presence of Gwar with early Venom.
Sadly, there are a few that simply wind up a bit too cliché. “Demonic Slaughter” literally sounds like it was torn directly from the airwaves of MTV in the eighties with the lighter Punk and Hard Rock style riffs. While an enjoyable song overall, not to mention catchy for as casual as it is, the performance as a whole leaves very little behind that’s ultimately memorable other than a decent transition into the darker, far more brooding “Forever Possessed”. The deeper presence and slower pace channel a Doom Metal-esque environment that works perfectly with the Danzig/Horror Punk undertones the band is attempting to achieve. “Seven Hails” falls prey to typical early Heavy Metal performances in the vein of Judas Priest and the aforementioned Venom, but this is one that manages to couple in the Punk inspirations quite well to make the less-than-original sound incredibly addicting.
Heretic have gone through a good number of changes over the years as far as their style goes. Early recordings have all received plenty of praise, while the more recent outing a mixture of positivity and negativity. Alive Under Satan isn’t at all a unique offering, but what it does possess is a wide variety of inspirations from different genres, styles, and eras of music to create an EP that’s as fun as it is blasphemous. Even though that’s really all you can hope for when it comes to the Hard Rock and Punk influenced Rock styles, it does leave a little more to be desired thanks to the amount of familiar territory it tread. But, if you feel like throwing back to the golden days of Metal, Alive Under Satan is a good EP worth checking out.
01. Berzerker – 2:25
02. Mr. Chainsaw – 2:05
03. Demonic Slaughter – 2:14
04. Forever Possessed – 2:35
05. Gods ‘n’ Slaves – 2:09
06. Give Me Darkness – 2:15
07. Serven Hails – 2:25
08. The Devil, My Saviour – 3:55
|Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10