It’s not that I don’t enjoy the ideas in Satanic’s latest release Architecture of Chaos. The 15-year-old me loves the unfettered rage – fuck the world, death to all but metal, all that good stuff. But if I’m being honest, grown-up Syd demands just a little more from his death metal than kid Syd did.
For starters, you have a click for a reason. We get it, you know how to tremolo pick, and it’s pretty fucking cool when you do. But when you’re playing technical death metal, there has to be a focus on technique. It’s not all about speed. There are pretty obvious moments here when the drums are not punching at the same time as the guitars. Again, kid Syd loves it. But adult Syd wants to feel like he’s headbanging to some kind of rhythm.
Then there’s the matter of those solos. Man, oh man, those solos. They sound like the kind of thing Kerry King might have deemed not melodic enough. Again, we get it, melody is for conformists. All I’m asking for is something, anything that makes me feel like I’m not listening to a solo that was rattled off without a second thought after a bottle and a half of vodka.
I’m being harsh, I know. To their credit, the vocals are fucking awesome. Like, Angela Gossow or Nergal–level awesome. I could listen to a live performance of just these vocals and feel the intense need to mosh like I’ve never moshed before. There are also some truly crunchy riffs, and when they get the point across they are almost shiver inducing. There’s even one really memorable solo. Right after the questionable few seconds of silence on “Tchernobyl 86” the guitar roars back into action and it’s brief, but it’s like the revenge of the notes.
I’ll bet metal dollars to death growl donuts that when these guys perform live, they really do bring the chaos that they claim to be the architectures of. The energy is there. The vision isn’t quite as clear. I’d love for the next release from Satanic to sound as awesome in my ears as it does in their heads.
Written by Syd Ghan
*edited by Kate Erickson