Satan - Court In The Act

Satan - Court In The Act

Satan - Court In The Act

(1983, Neat Records)

It’s no big secret that the uprising Thrash movement – back in the early 80s – had enough to lend (as every other Metal genre) from the unparalleled New Wave Of British Heavy Metal phenomenon. Unique British bands and subsequent monumental albums acted as the constituent of entasis (matched by the Punk rage) for lots of bands in e.g. the Bay Area (San Francisco) or California, LA or New York regions in order to have a first flirt with thrashin’ disaster for the world to know from then on.

Bands from the first wave like METALLICA, SLAYER, ANTHRAX or OVERKILL proudly had their own British heroes endorsing their music in their early days, but there was another following typhoon of outfits shaping their music making borrowing elements from British bands having already testified their anthemic act in the book of Heavy Metal. So, if you already know bands like IRON MAIDEN or VENOM and LPs like “Angel Witch” or “Lightning to the Nations” helped their way in determining the powerful Speed/Thrash Metal style in America during the 80s, you should definitely listen to (and add) SATAN’s “Court In The Act” LP from 1983 to the pile.

SATAN (it’s a wonder why this name was not ‘locked’ by some other band…) was formed in Newcastle around 1979. Two demo tapes and the now scarce “Kiss Of Death” single preceded the departure of singer Trevor Robinson while BLITZKRIEG frontman Brian Ross stepped in to complete the recordings of the quintet’s debut LP. With most of the tracklist originating from the “Into The Fire” demo, this 1983 release introduced SATAN and some unique (till then) music to both NWOBHM aficionados in Europe and proto-thrashers in the American continent. And what a foreword this one was…

I think than no band till then had introduced this galloping speed, typhoon of riffs and tornado of solos (some of them dual ones) with a variety of tempos as the rhythm basis in one record. SATAN in this album gets twisted while being 100% Metal, thus escaping enough from the (hard) Rock smell of the average NWOBHM blend. Each songs starts in a unique way and you cannot predict its middle part or ending; no, no progressive Metal (as it would be later called, huh) is listed here. The bag of tricks here is the guitars work, being ruthless and solemn at the same time, consistent and free-will at the same moment and flirting with what would the Bay Area style endorse and pursue in the years to follow. And the total atmosphere? Yes, it is dark and hallucinating, of course it gets eldritch step by step and the solemn vocals of Brian Ross – melodic yet powerful – add to the disincarnating stench without losing a pound of its metallum.

It’s said the ‘original’ part of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal explosion d(r)ied circa 1982. With albums like “Court In The Act” this assumption is possibly true, since from then on the barriers were stretched and speedy Thrash/Power Metal now had a handbook to study and implement. Many fans may have some tough times accepting the non-polished production but, on the other hand, that’s another ace for this LP. Obscurity was always the extra helping hand for original proto-Metal music, wasn’t it? And – not to forget – bands that possibly had this disc as some short of holy grail when they begun should include TESTAMENT, EXODUS, METAL CHURCH, VICIOUS RUMORS, HEATHEN and…the list goes on longer than you’ve ever imagined.


Tracklist

01. Into The Fire
02. Trial By Fire
03. Blades Of Steel
04. No Turning Back
05. Broken Treaties
06. Break Free
07. Hunt You Down
08. The Ritual
09. Dark Side Of Innocence
10. Alone In The Dock


Lineup

Brian Ross - Vocals
Russ Tippins - Guitars
Steve Ramsey - Guitars
Graeme English - Bass
Sean Taylor - Drums