So, “metal” is a bit of a catch-all term – which obviously is why we have “black metal”, “hair metal”, “cheese metal” etc. (although there’s just no reason why we have “nu-metal”!). In any case, it can be a bit of a pot luck to just shout up for any “metal” that comes across the reviews editor’s desk; it’s Forrest Gump’s Schrodinger’s box of chocolates.

However, as soon as I see that the track listing for Satan’s Fall Destination Destruction finishes with “Go Go Power Rangers (Power Rangers Song)” I know I am in for some fun.

We’re more in stadium territory here, like a turbocharged Iron Maiden, featuring the sorts of simple, musical chord progressions that (full-throated metal vocals aside) could be re-arranged as rock and roll (Poison), US punk (think early Rise Against) or even indie, but are presented here with high-energy, high pitched vocals and high-speed guitar shredding.

In fact “high-pitched” only tells half the vocal story as, while there are some really impressively high notes here, particularly toward the end of Lead The Way, there’s a lot of vocal range, gravel and grunt as well as those top notes delivered cleanly and with gusto.

The relative accessibility, musically speaking, is definitely in favour of Satan’s Fall and will be comfortably familiar to any fan of the earlier (pre-Metallica) era of metal that evolved as an extreme off-shoot of rock and roll. Garden of Fire throws in a pastiche of Creedence Clearwater’s ‘Bad Moon on the Rise’ (as “blood moon on the rise”) and throughout, we have familiar, anthemic (if not hugely memorable) tracks.

The Marien-Hof cover (Es Wird Viel Passieren) sung in flawless German also really brings home the uncanny ability of many Scandinavian singers to write and sing in foreign language(s). There’s no clear giveaway that the vocals aren’t sung by a native English speaker – which is pretty mind-blowing – and although the writing often strays into the simplistic and cliché (Monsters Ball shouts “The price that we paid with our blood / It’s all in the name of love”), it perfectly fits the tone of the music.

There’s nothing really boundary-pushing here but the execution and production are really impressive. It seems churlish to single out the drummer, Arttu Hankosaari, when the musicianship across the board is close to flawless, but his contributions are particularly impressive and really drive the relentless energy of the album.

Oh! And by the time we arrive at the end of the album I’ve forgotten about the Power Rangers. It’s amazing – and actually a pretty faithful cover, it’s just much better executed and produced and sung with full commitment.

Sometimes you want your metal to reflect the blackest deeds committed in the dark of midnight by the most irredeemable fiend. Sometimes you want to be buoyed and lifted by the power of a kids’ TV theme turned up to 11 and blasted out with unbelievable levels of power and skill.

Satan’s Fall: Destination Destruction – Out 3rd November 2023 (SPV Entertainment)

Fall – Afterglow (Official Video) – YouTube

Chris Oliver

I've been playing bass guitar and guitar for over half my life. I last played bass in in a band called Electromotive and as a singer-songwriter I have written songs about cheese and vajazzles (separate songs!). I started out listening to 60s, 70s and 80s rock as a kid and I was in to grunge and U.S. punk and ska in the 90s. Since then, I've broadened my tastes and I like the best of all styles of music, even country. I've been writing for Silent Radio since it started.