Many have been quick to point out the direct influence that Motorhead, Venom and Diamond Head had on the early development of thrash metal, but Satan tends to be sort of an aside amongst the so-called founding fathers. However, when hearing the two songs that are found here, which have their origin in the very opening of the 80s, one can’t help but take note of the direction that this band was pointing toward. It still retains a strong remnant of the hard rock tendencies of Riot’s late 70s speed work and the punk trappings that could be heard in the faster offerings of Motorhead, but the marriage of this character with the darker guitar tone pioneered by Tony Iommi definitely points towards what Slayer ended up with on “Haunting The Chapel”.
Now the important thing to remember is that this is still very far removed from the dark, tonally chromatic character that personified the 84’ Slayer EP. In essence, “Kiss Of Death” is kind of a fancier answer to Iron Maiden’s “Prowler”, complete with a similarly unforgettable lead guitar theme loaded with wah pedal noise. Throughout the song there is an underlying tendency towards Sabbath-like riffing, complete with constant trill work and brief bluesy lead fills that take their cues directly from said band’s self-titled debut and “Paranoid”. In all, this is a song that perfectly captures that loose, free flowing tendency of the earlier NWOBHM releases that didn’t fully commit to the tighter riff work that more thrashing outfits like Blitzkrieg and Diamond Head imputed into Metallica.
“Heads Will Roll” is a classic example of that crunchy, riff happy, spirit speed metal that is just a little too complex for Motorhead, yet too fast and bouncy for Sabbath. It is loaded with lead fills that intermingle with fairly elaborate riff work and Trev Robinson’s gravely growls, both of which were probably a heavy influence on Dave Mustaine once he struck out on his own with Megadeth. But it can’t be emphasized enough that unlike the aforementioned thrash band, or Maiden when they did comparatively fast songs, Satan is still working with this looser rock tendency that is more readily associated with late 70s and early 80s Judas Priest.
Although a pretty difficult to procure rarity, from a collector’s standpoint, this is a significant piece of early underground Metal history that should definitely be pursued if feasible. It has about the same significance as the early Metallica demos, though obviously there is a bit more hype surrounding them, especially here in the states. And like said demos, it is just a good load of fun to listen to, in spite, or rather because of its archaic nature.
Taken from here:
01 - Kiss Of Death
02 - Heads Will Roll