New Music Review: SATAN “Atom By Atom”

REVIEW – One of the many acts to emerge from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement of the late-seventies and early-eighties are back at it with a tasty, riff-tastic masterpiece. Only their fourth album in 36 years, and released on October 16, 2015, veteran rockers, SATAN show us that time has not changed their style with their latest- “Atom By Atom” on Listenable Records. Recorded at First Avenue studios in their hometown of Newcastle, England, and once again with Dario Mollo at the helm, “Atom To Atom” also contains a collaboration with Kevin Heybourne from fellow NWOBHM-ers Angel Witch.

I mentioned that this is only the fourth studio release by SATAN, which was founded in 1979, but the band has been prolific under different names. They had one album as Blind Fury in 1985, and three albums as Pariah from 1988 to 1998. In 1990, two founding members teamed up with Martin Walkyier of Sabbat and founded Skyclad, and finally reverting back to SATAN in 2011. Several compilations and live appearances kept the releases coming, culminating in SATAN’s first studio album in 26 years, 2013’s “Life Sentence”. “Atom To Atom” sounds as if the “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” mentality was utilized here in regards to comparisons to the previous release. “We wanted to keep some continuity going with both the look and sound of this album. We’ve been working on the music for nearly two years now” says guitarist, Steve Ramsey. This goes to show what can happen with frequent, almost obsessive, rehearsal, and incessant touring; The band just ended a tour of South America before heading into the studio. Not to mention influencing countless metal bands after them by essentially inventing thrash, which was very complex for the metal of the time.

This album is a welcome sound to my ears, as the interestingly toned, twin-guitar assault of Steve Ramsey and Russ Tippins create beautiful harmonies together. Combine it with the pounding of drummer Sean Taylor and bassist Graeme English, and add Brian Ross’ distinctive vocals to the mix and you’ve got some textbook ‘eavy metal! Show me those devil signs.

SATAN “Atom By Atom”

1. Farewell Evolution
2. Fallen Saviour
3. Ruination
4. The Devil’s Infantry
5. Atom By Atom
6. In Contempt
7. My Own God
8. Ahriman
9. Bound In Enmity
10.The Fall Of Persephone

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