Windhand/Satan’s Satyrs – Split
Doom metal masters Windhand continue their reign of terror with this split 12-inch record with fellow Virginians Satan’s Satyrs. If you give this record a spin based on Windhand’s well-earned reputation, be prepared to be blown away by their split mate’s stab at keeping traditional rock ‘n’ roll alive.
Lovers of all sorts of rock music can’t deny the power of Windhand’s first heavy riff, cutting through the haze of “Old Evil.” Back when the closest thing to spiritually-aware metal I’d heard was Def Leppard, I assumed all songs like this one would hinge on this level of lead guitarist showmanship. Of course, extreme metal would be predictable and corny if this were true all the time. When we do get that approach from a band as creatively rich as Windhand, it’s more badass than any pop culture cliché led me to believe. Party on, Garth!
Windhand’s other track, “Three Sisters,” relies more on how Dorthia Cottrell’s haunting vocals suit slower-trudging doom metal storytelling. She’s the right blend of folk singer and spiritual seer here and on Windhand’s other releases.
If you’re more keen on an old school approach to hard rock and metal, in the same vein as Atlanta’s Gunpowder Gray, then Satan’s Satyr’s side should be in your wheelhouse. “Alucard AD 2018” and “Succubus” attack the eardrums unrelentingly. There’s no concern about following in line behind a specific metal subgenre’s formula. They’re just here to rock, daddy!
Satan’s Satyrs close out the release with “Ain’t That Lovin’ You, Baby.” It turns back the clock to the time when sleazy blues-rock set the table for heavy metal. Think Blue Cheer and other shortcuts from the garage to the nine circles of Hell.
In all, it’s a sampling of two great modern metal bands with a sound and approach that’s accessible to more than just devotees of certain extreme metal offshoots.