Windhand & Satan’s Satyrs – Split

Windhand & Satan’s Satyrs – Split – (Relapse Records) 

Battle Helm Rating

Totally stoked!!! These 2 Virginia bands are touring buddies, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that they’ve hooked up to do this split with 3 new tracks from Satan’s Satyrs and 2 from Windhand. Satan’s Satyrs are a badass stoner punk rock crew that revv it up with plenty of fuzz, hippy shakin trippy madness as it’s laid out on kicking tracks like ‘Alucard AD 2018’, complete with droning guitars and Sabbathy warbles while on ‘Succubus’ there’s plenty to mosh with its heavy but catchy riff and some hammering drum work. In contrast comes the rock n roll insanity of ‘Ain’t That Lovin’ You, Baby’, a sleazy bar room blues number that amps up into a full blow out with wild guitar solos all over the place complete with a live sound. But now the fun ends. If you can comprehend the ultra droning intensity of Windhand’s guitars, then you could probably circumnavigate the event horizon of a black hole. This is evil, haunting doom and in no small part thanks to the wailing femme tones of Dorthia Cottrell, whose hypnotic effect should come with a health warning. Played at plod pace and repetitive in its endlessness, the sheer power and intensity of songs like ‘Old Evil’ are to say the least, an experience. That is, until you hear ‘Three Sisters’! At 14 minutes long, this is the veritable H-Bomb with crashing, bombastic droning guitars and an evil organ in the background that just hammers its way into your brain (or what’s left of it) before Cottrell, like a snake in the grass, slithers in through your ear and just wraps her coils, whispering trippy tones until your final meltdown. Centred around a single but absolutely colossal riff, with minimal tempo changes, the talent inherent in the composing, not to mention the ability to play to this level of atmospheric intensity, cannot be overstated and is a fitting testimony to why they (along with the aforementioned Satyrs) rank among some of the top US underground bands around today. A job well done indeed.

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