"The Early Years: Dawn of Darkness" (Necropolis)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

"The Early Years: Dawn Of Darkness" combines Satanic Slaughter's first two CDs onto one. The self-titled debut and "Land Of The Unholy Souls" are basically the first twenty-five songs of Satanic Slaughter's career in one neat and tidy package.

"The Early Years: Dawn Of Darkness" shows Satanic Slaughter's hyper-speed death-thrashing with black metal overtones in a fairly straight-forward manner. While I've found this style to be a bit over-done and uninspired, it is interesting to hear Satanic Slaughter's output given that the break-up of Satanic Slaughter led to the formation of Witchery. Everything in the proper context certainly makes even thrashy-death metal more intriguing to listen to.

"The Early Years: Dawn Of Darkness" moves quickly as very few songs break the three-minute barrier. Many of the songs appear twice from different recording sessions, so, on the one hand the CD is a bit repetitive, but on the other the listener gets a small glimpse into the evolution of the band's sound.

The music is a bit under-produced, no doubt, to achieve the kind of underground credibility often sought by bands in the extreme music scene. What more can under-production achieve other than to make the blast beats and rapid-fire guitar and bass licks coalesce into a hailstorm of furious aggression that, upon first listen, merely sounds like a buzz saw stuck in the "on" position? Toxine's voice, although faster than I'm accustomed to due to his work with Witchery, is easily recognizable. Jensen and Corpse are less riff-oriented in Satanic Slaughter; why go for chunky riffs when relentless aggressive strumming will do the trick, right? The rhythm section spends nearly ever second in blast beats (or in support of blasting) like there's no tomorrow so there's nothing particularly worthwhile noting.

As mentioned earlier, due to the connection with Witchery, fans of Witchery would be wise to check Satanic Slaughter out to hear the band's predecessor. Of course, fans of the death-thrash genre would not be disappointed by Satanic Slaughter's "The Early Years: Dawn Of Darkness."

Satanic Slaughter is Toxine on vocals, Jensen and Richard Corpse on guitars, Ztephen Dark on bass, and Mique on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:19 -0400.