Released: 2011, Moribund Records
This is the second Satan-focused album I’m reviewing this month (the other is the new Root disc). I’m glad to say that this one is utterly fantastic as, presumably pleased by the use of his name in the band’s moniker, Satan has blessed this album with fiery metallic strength (or some such); or, maybe he’s just as pleased as the rest us that Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (sorry, Leviathan Thirsiren) is back after the crushing dissolution of Jag Panzer. Whatever the case may be, CELEBRATION is a welcome, powerful listen.
I’m not going to regurgitate Satan’s Host’s long, murky history here, suffice it to say that the band formed with Conklin back in the ‘80s, he split, and the band forged on with a more death-styled vocalist. After Jag Panzer split, Conklin rejoined the band in time to contribute to the acclaimed BY THE HANDS OF THE DEVIL album. This disc is exactly what its title implied – a celebration of the band’s history with full re-recordings of songs over the band’s career, although the focus is on redoing the material released while Conklin was out of the band.
As this is my first exposure to the band, I can’t say how the songs compare to the originals, but what’s offered here is a blistering batch of lengthy, evil songs that take thrash, NWOBHM, and black metal, pour them into a cauldron and let all boil over. This is some ultra-aggressive music that never fails to satisfy, even if, combined with the over-the-top lyrics, it does occasionally tread into parody territory. If that wasn’t enough, there’s two new tracks offered as well, both being typically high-quality speedballs that demand your attention. It’s fascinating to hear Conklin’s clarion call vocals over top of such hostile music, especially for those of us that have only heard him in the confines of Jag Panzer. Have no fear though; the man puts on a typically powerful vocal clinic, annihilating everything in sight on tracks like “Metal from Hell” and “H.E.L.L.”, perfectly blending in with the band’s attack. CELEBRATION is not only a fantastic overview of Satan’s Host career; it’s also a fucking great metal album.