Black Metal, Metal, Post-Black Metal, Vinyl

Super Satan – Menetekel (Review)

Bands: Super Satan
Release: Menetekel (Reissue)
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: Germany
Release Date:1st of August, 2020
Released viaZann’s Records

Have you ever wondered how bands come up with their respective names? I mean, there are certainly different associations that are going to come up when you name your band Super Satan, aren’t they? Either one might think of a totally nonsensical fun project or some ultra serious black metal enthusiasts. Listening to Menetekel confirms neither. Moreso, the Bavarian bunch invoke similarities to German heavy weights Der Weg Einer Freiheit in playing atmospheric and richly textued (Post) Black Metal. Looking at who produced the newly reissued debut, this observation becomes clear since Nikita Kamprad took over production and also the bass duties for this project. So how does the record actually sound like, you may ask?

Well, Super Satan are operating in a similar vein as the named Der Weg Einer Freiheit which means that their foundation is built upon post metal influenced black metal, stylistically the Bavarian bunch leans more towards the second black metal wave, incoporating riff work akin Immortal on lead singles Einklang and Mondglanz and mix it with eery melodies and more open soundscapes. But also some simpler punk beats such as in Auferstehung find their way into the compositions. The pristine production makes way for dynamic horn sections, ambient clean guitar work and some dynamic shifts throughout the album’s 10 tracks. While the previously named songs are more direct, aggressive and fast, tracks like the almost ten minute long Wolkenbruch add some nice mid tempo grooves to the tracklist and keep the listener engaged throughout with some more melodic lead interplays, background synth work and complex drum patterns that make it easier to follow the existential and philosophical German lyrics. Conceptually, the record revolves around the imagination of a restless soul that seeks its way into individual freedom. Vocally, these are presented in the typical black metal raspy vocals style but clear enough to follow them with the corresponding lyric sheet. And while the music arrangements are rather dynamic, the vocals could use some more variation. Although they are provided competently enough, some listeners might get tired of them given the album’s run time. On the other hand, it’s still black metal we’re talking about though, right?

In total, the record offers a great amount of variation to ensure listeners are captivated by the created atmosphere and the intrinsic and existential lyrics. Dull moments are hardly to be found on Menetekel. If we’re talking about room for improving, one might complain that the album could use some trimming in certain spots to achieve a little more focus as a whole listening experience. But as competently as the compositions are presented here, this really can be counted as minor nit picking and does not take away from the overall impressive display of talent with which these tracks are composed. Enthusiasts of stylistically similar acts such as the mentioned DWEF or Agrypnie should definitely take a listen at this rather strong debut, which has been reissued by Zanns Records on black vinyl just recently.

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