Satan's Host has returned to the moods of their debut album "Metal from Hell" along with the return of their original vocalist Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin (known from Jag Panzer and Titan Force).

The band released numerous black metal albums with traditional growl-vocals between their debut and this album. The vocalist L.C.F. Elixir did an exemplary job on those albums, and I myself enjoyed his good articulation. Still, as a diehard "Mr. Tyrant"-fan, I have to say that I practically went crazy from joy when I heard that Harry will be making a comeback to Satan's Host. At last I got the album in my hands, and the question is: was it worth waiting for?

I think it was. The album is a hefty package of raw black/power metal with satanic themes, and it surely doesn't lack in blastbeats nor solos. The drumming is nearly impeccable, with almost machine-like precision. Someone might find the drum sounds too clean, and I might've wanted them to have a bit more rawness. There's nothing to complain about in the guitar- and bass-playing either. When interesting riffs are added to tempo variations, we're talking about a fascinating entity. The playing style hasn't really changed since the previous albums, so I believe that the songs would've worked well with the previous singer as well.

Harry's vocal performance is near perfection, from the clean high vocals to hoarser ones. He's the best heavy/power metal singer today, without question! My own favourites from the album are the blasting "By the Hands of the Devil," "Demontia" with its high amount of variation, and my absolute favourite "Fallen Angel." The Beatles-cover "Norwegian Wood" is a succesful and fun rendition as well.

Satan's Host doesn't settle for being a poor man's Jag Panzer, but represents a wholly different style direction, even though the vocals are of the power metal-styled, fairly high-pitch type. The album is a damn good package. I just would've wished the overall sound had more jagged edge and rawness.

9- / 10