THIS WEEK I’M LISTENING TO...SATAN’S FALL Destination Destruction (SPV / Steamhammer)
Opening their account with the ‘Seven Nights’ demo in 2016, the band originally known as Satan’s Cross – as well he might be! – issued their first album ‘Final Day’ in 2020 and now Covid-belatedly follow it with ‘Destination Destruction’. If you want corpse paint and megasonic riffing though you’re barking up the wrong tree as the Finnish five-piece’s stock-in-trade is pretty much traditional metal with the emphasis on melody and crossover appeal, as best exemplified by the lengthy ballad ‘Monster’s Ball’. They do put the pedal to the metal at times – check out the opening coupling of frenetic opener ‘Lead The Way’ and ‘Gardens Of Fire’ – but Satan’s Fall aren’t in the least bit diabolic, and a decent point of reference musically would be Accept, albeit a version of the band as fronted by Miika Kokko’s cleaner vocal delivery.
With guitarists Tomi Mäenpää and Ville Koskinen duelling away to their hearts’ content and a pounding rhythm section in bassist Joni Petander and drummer Arttu Hankosaari ‘Destination Destruction’ is a metal fan’s dream, boasting a clutch of songs that are dynamic and accessible in equal measure: ‘No Gods, No Masters’ and ‘Dark Star’ in particular do a pretty good job of showcasing the band’s songwriting abilities and precision in execution.
The CD bows out with a couple of tracks which regrettably don’t make the LP, despite the vinyl’s relatively short (about 36 minutes) running time. ‘Es Wird Viel Passieren’ is the theme to a German TV soap that was broadcast in Finland back in the Nineties, while the more self-explanatory ‘Go Go Power Rangers’ has been responsible for the sale of many toys; neither of these bonus cuts is essential nor needs to be taken too seriously, but they’re fun all the same and will probably go down a storm live. Throw back your head and throw up the horns!
© John Tucker November 2023 / photo credit Toni Salminen