Satan
Atom by Atom


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (280 Reviews)
October 14th, 2015 | 27 replies


Release Date: 10/02/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Satan bring the demons back, to bring you guys down to hell.

I'm going to go ahead and say it: Satan are the greatest band to emerge from NWOBHM 80s scene who haven't endured mainstream success yet. Why" Because the band have been consistent all the way through, from their excellent 80s output to the more menacing latter material, such as Life Sentence and this year's latest effort, Atom By Atom. You can argue that Satan are overrated because of their cult following, but nobody can deny the enigmatic instrumental influence the band has left for countless newer bands to adopt and adapt.

Atom By Atom, just like Life Sentence, is one hell of a way of saying to the world "We're back". Not just that, but it's also a representation of how brilliant songwriting and instrumental performance are in Satan's music, carefully considered to bring out the most effective sound the listener can get. The band's latest album begins with a piercing, demonic scream flowing into a majestic, speedy riff which in turn delivers some of the tastiest guitar licks in a heavy metal record. Indeed, opener "Farewell Evolution" certainly sets the bar damn high. Brian Ross' shrieks and screams are just as effective as his solemn warble over the inspirational rhythm section throughout every song, proving to be as much of an outstanding aspect of the band's sound as the instrumental performance. "Farewell Evolution" is a certain reminder of this, but his delivery extends beyond screaming and singing. On "Ruination", he almost attains a higher pitch than usual, at times proving as vicious as the infectious main riff, and the album's closing epic, "The Fall of Persephone", sees Ross adopt a narrative style where he briefly describes the presence and power Persephone held in her reign, before the song borders on symphonic and epic territory.

The real gem in Satan's latest album is its versatile songwriting approach, which is naturally rife in previous albums too. The instrumental delivery helps this to become more refined of course, but the way in which the quieter, more acoustic moments of say "Ruination" are complemented and balanced by the insane amount of aggressive solos in "The Devil's Infantry", showcasing the powerful twin lead work between Ramsey and Tippins. Elsewhere, as in the title track and "In Contempt", the band adopt a more progressive route towards musicianship, and it proves to be fully flavoured with intricate guitar patterns and that unmistakeably effective bass rumble in the background, providing an extra bout of heaviness for the rest of the song to lead from. The album does lose its effectiveness after "In Contempt" slightly, with the weakest songs notably being "My Own God", "Ahriman" and "Bound for Eternity", before "The Fall of Persephone" reminds us all of how we fell in love with Satan to begin with. These weaker aforementioned songs aren't even that much of a problem however, because despite cutting the fluency of the instrumental gusto, the effect earlier songs have had on the listener will likely still have delivered a powerful punch to the eardrums. Each song is virtually memorable from start to finish, and certainly leaves a mark which few of Satan's peers unfortunately cannot match now.

Satan have outdone themselves again, essentially. Whilst there is little difference in songwriting or instrumental delivery compared to that of Life Sentence, Atom By Atom still proves Satan have buckets of confidence and creativity in their wake, as well as the fact that they're just not going to go away anytime soon. The cohesive and unforgettable instrumental delivery connects with Brian Ross' vocal menace, leading us all to believe that Satan should really be more well-known than they currently are. Nonetheless, it's an excellent record to put up there with the best of them.



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user ratings (67)
Chart.
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 14th 2015


2600 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Criticism is welcome.

Digging: Heilung - Futha

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2015


11735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Only natural that this got reviewed by Robert. I'll give the review a look when I have a bit more time.



Great album with impressive guitar work and very energetic, nonetheless.

Digging: Leonard Cohen - Live In Dublin

ChaoticVortex
October 14th 2015


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Life Sentence was great, looking foward to this one as well. Excellent review.

Sabrutin
October 14th 2015


6229 Comments


Nice, I considered checking this out but the year is approaching its ending and I still have plenty of stuff to listen to.

Anyway, my English isn't the best of the best but there are a couple of sentences that I think read awkward.

"it's also a representation of how brilliant songwriting and instrumental performance is in Satan's music"
Should "is" be "are"?

"The instrumental delivery helps this to become more refined of course, but the way in which the quieter, more acoustic moments of say "Ruination" are complemented and balanced by the insane amount of aggressive solos in "The Devil's Infantry", showcasing the powerful twin lead work between Ramsey and Tippins."
What do you think about these changes?
"but" -> "and"
"showcasing" -> "showcases"

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 14th 2015


2600 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Sabrutin, edited accordingly.

ExplosiveOranges
October 14th 2015


4408 Comments


was thinking about reviewing this, but looks like you've beaten me to it, lol. review looks solid from a quick skim. will try to read over it in detail and give feedback tomorrow.

tempest--
October 14th 2015


20632 Comments


Great rev man! Was listening to this last night, enjoyed it a bit more than Life Sentence. There's some great tracks on here. It does get a little samey, but it's short enough so that it doesn't impact the experience too much imo.

lalchimiste
October 15th 2015


1099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a good example of how a metal record should sound : a balanced mix with a clear sound while still retaining an edginess and not drowned with reverb.



Also, I get some sick Coroner vibes on The Devil's Infantry

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2015


2600 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, I get some sick Coroner vibes on The Devil's Infantry



I can see where you're coming from. Guitar work in that song is exceptional.

oltnabrick
October 18th 2015


37105 Comments


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnqcKkn50tA

Digging: Herme$ - Luna de Sangre 2

Ovrot
October 18th 2015


13304 Comments


sweet album

lalchimiste
November 5th 2015


1099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how can you there be a 1.0 for this, holy fuck

ChaoticVortex
November 7th 2015


803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool album with great guitar work, but Life Sentence was a bit stronger.

slikphuk
November 11th 2015


426 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah this kicks ass freakin cool album

Digging: Superstition - The Anatomy Of Unholy Transformation

TheNotrap
November 17th 2015


11366 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rocks.

Digging: Disentomb - The Decaying Light

Cryptkeeper
February 9th 2016


1897 Comments


Oh shit I didn't even know they released another album

Ire
February 15th 2016


41945 Comments


Didn't kno they are still m/ that's nice to hear

lalchimiste
February 15th 2016


1099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

these guys bring it like it's 1983 all over again

ThrashTillDeath94
March 26th 2016


784 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can appreciate the guitars and production here, but the vocals really annoy me for some reason.

pissbore
March 27th 2016


12739 Comments


how does court in the act not have a review still

and damn i still gotta hear this



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