Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Friday, February 3, 2023

Review: Sathanas – Psalm Satani

Label: Vidar Records

Date: December 10th, 2022

One awkward moment happened to me which is a shame for me as a metalhead and journalist – I couldn’t find this band on the website of metal encyclopaedia. I don’t know if that’s bands problem or mine but surely it was unpleasant to ask people around like: “Hey, do you know about the band Sathanas?” Most of the answers were negative but the methods of my research before putting words to paper should change.

Of course, in the end I found the band. They can hide in hell, I will knock on their door. One more problem is this name that so many bands and albums share. The word Sathanas is really popular, like terror or hammer or Satan’s servants. Okay, we won’t summon the demons but we are dealing with a typical blackened death metal band. I am not sure if I should say anything else but let’s see what they offered us.

Well, the new album from Sathanas is called “Psalm Satani” which is their 11th album so far. They are a pretty old band, located in Pennsylvania. First of all, bravo on not splitting up like modern bands. First fact I liked about this band is that they are not purely black or death metal, because sometimes, trust me, I sit for hours listening to some band trying to write down something. That’s not a problem with Sathanas. The entire album is interesting, dark in its own way and not monotonous. Many doom sludge moments but also death / black parts which keep this band alive. Those parts are mostly in the background like in old school death metal. Let’s say Death had this kind of recording.

Vocals are from the living hell. A special technic of growl. I mean, Psalm (to) Satan, it has to be shocking, right? From the first song “Demonic Rights”, to the last “Altar of Heaven” songs keep these things – hell, torture, kill, demons. Pretty typical but even if they play it in 21th century they will be categorised in between old school bands for this I am sure. The atmosphere can be identified with name of songs. In songs like “Calling Forth the Darkness” and “Psalm Satani” I can hear specific riffs on guitar. Very melancholic and not so common for this genre. I like it!

The album is maybe pretty typical in every way but that riff keeps this album a little bit above typical. “Blood of Seraphim” is my favourite song from the album. The lyrics and atmosphere it has, everything fits in and has a bit more of a black metal note that I like.

“Altar of Heaven” starts really good for a closing song but when I passed the first thirty seconds I thought it is still “Psalm Satani”. Nothing else special to say about it except that. Yes, not much to say about music here, everything is more or less the same.

That’s not a bad fact. The songs are everything but monotonous, but the riffs are sometimes seemingly exactly the same. I can’t see the difference between two songs. But lyrics are something that bought me here. Dark on the level of Behemoth but also understandable while singing. Biblical subjects based on hell and Satan. Psalm is a song whose words are dedicated to something. This part is definitely black metal(ish). Experience is coming from this voice.

Cover photo is definitely why I would buy this album. Perfect design also dedicated to Satan. If you look at it longer you can see many details. Fear, chains, fire or fallen angels are definitely always scary to look at. All applauses to the designer. I think this is a picture of welcoming Lucifer to hell but I assume the band left us to think about that. Maybe it’s our own world, maybe we are chained, we will see. Sathanas is surely the band of high quality and they have major opus behind them but hearing something out of typical genre would be pleasant for our ears.