Friday, 9 February 2018

REVIEW: Windhand & Satan's Satyrs - "Windhand & Satan's Satyrs Split"

By: John Reppion

Album Type: Split LP
Date Released: 16/02/2018
Label: Relapse Records

This is two bands at the top of their game, producing some of their finest work to date

“Windhand & Satan’s Satyrs Split” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Windhand – “Old Evil”
2). Windhand – “Three Sisters”
3). Satan’s Satyrs – “Alucard AD 2018”
4). Satan’s Satyrs – “Succubus”
5). Satan’s Satyrs – “Ain’t That Lovin’ You, Baby”

The Review:

I was lucky enough to catch Windhand and Satan's Satyrs playing together when they toured the UK at the end of 2017. At the time I didn't quite see the kinship between the two bands, but thanks to this new Relapse Records split release, the connection is now somewhat clearer to me.

On first listen Windhand’s opener, “Old Evil”, sounds like a track straight off of “Griefs Infernal Flower” (and that’s definitely no bad thing). Further plays however, reward the listener with something that’s actually a few degrees heavier, and tighter than the content of the 2015 album. Essentially it’s like the most Windhand that Windhand have ever been; they are well and truly on point here. “Three Sisters” is built around one simple and massive riff, with added keyboard gloom courtesy of Jonathan Kassilow (of Sinister Haze and former Windhand Split-buddies Cough). The track is staggeringly doomy: lumbering and powerful and miserable, and pretty fucking wonderful overall.

“Alucard A.D.” starts things off on the Satan’s Satyrs half of the record, and it does so in heavy style. Now previously, thanks to their 2015 album “Don’t Deliver Us”, I thought of Satan’s Satyrs as a kind of Glam Punk retro rock kind of band, but that’s not what they sound like here. This is juicy, juicy stuff which reminds more than a little of Electric Wizard’s “We, The Undead”, in the best possible way. 

“Succubus” follows on wonderfully well with a main riff that’s both doomy and kind of cheeky and funny. There’s more than a hint of NWOBHM in the guitar work, and the whole thing just slots together in such a way that, even after several listens, still hasn’t failed to put a smile on my face. Closer “Aint That Lovin’ You Baby” is much more in line with my previous expectations with regard to Satan’s Satyrs. It’s a sleazy 12 bar blues that clicks into double-time half way through before going down in a blaze of Cock Rock guitar solos. Claythanas'/Clayton Burgess' shout of “thank you, goodnight!” is all that’s really missing from the end of this obvious set-closer.

Sometimes these split EPs can feel a bit like filler between “proper” releases; songs that didn’t make it on to the main record, or versions of some work in progress that’s not yet quite come together. That is definitely not the case with this Windhand / Satan's Satyrs release however. This is two bands at the top of their game, producing some of their finest work to date. So much so in the case of Satan's Satyrs that
I’m really regretting missing the beginning of their set back in October.

“Windhand & Satan’s Satyrs Split” is available here

Band info: Windhand || Satan’s Satyrs