Satanic Warmaster - Archgoat - Lux Satanae (Thirteen Hymns of Finnish Devil Worship)
Hells Headbangers
Black Metal
13 songs (40'56")
Release year: 2015
Hells Headbangers
Reviewed by Alex

Satanic Warmaster release is a big deal in the world of Finnish black metal. The band is an institution in the genre. When Satanic Warmaster got joined by Archgoat in a split effort on Lux Satanae (Thirteen Hymns of Finnish Devil Worship) the release became an even bigger event due to the stature of both of these collectives. On Lux Satanae neither team presents new material. Instead, they opted to re-record items from their past. Not sure how Werwolf chose his selections on the release, more on that later, but Archgoat put out their first two demos pretty much in their full entirety. Jesus Spawn and Penis Perversor demos made shockwaves at the time of their original appearances, but the sound quality was so woefully inadequate Archgoat decided to give those songs justice.

Satanic Warmaster has been moving towards things more voluminous and epic on the last two albums and that is how his four songs appear on Lux Satanae. After the beast awakens on Black Destiny, the seemingly simple grim melody completely grips, showing the range of Satanic Warmaster to go from seethingly raging to hurtingly desperate in one heartbeat, the song is just that good, displaying the full array of emotions. The ability to bridge chaotic and anthemic in My Kingdom of Darkness is another display of Werwolf’s genius. My Kingdom of Darkness covers the wide array from bouncy mad blasting to sad profound piano close, the atmospheric walls supporting the leading razor blade scraping voice. Satanic Winter cover of Pest allows for the opportunity to slow down a bit and space out the riffs, to roll out the nasty streak and let backing vocals roar. Double bass feels even more powerful after spread out beat, and the middle breakdown with its huge tribal drums is very ritualistic. Wolves of Blood and Iron has newfound level of encompassing bombast these re-recordings are meant to provide. The melody on this song is absolutely rousing, and no one could ever argue about Werwolf’s melodic mastery.

Now about Satanic Warmaster lyrical subject matter as it pertains to Lux Satanae. When I reviewed Nachzerer and Fimbulwinter I did not mention anything about Werwolf’s earlier expressed positions, because, in my opinion, the albums were neutral on that front. I have received some private communications for not pointing out Satanic Warmaster earlier NS leanings. At the same time, there were other, quite ridiculous, encouragements for covering the band, because "Satanic Warmaster is not really NS, but Werfolf simply hates Jews". Whether that is true and if this is what possesses Lauri Penttila to come up with certain lyrics, some personal reason from the past perhaps, I would not know. However, opening Wolves of Blood and Iron with a Sieg Hail shout could not be more revealing as far as his stance goes. All I have to say there is: I recommend Mr. Penttila takes a solitary trip to one of the European concentration camps museums and while he is walking through observing the documented killings, let him think the only reason for all of those people eliminated, women and children too, is because they are Finnish. Think of the victims selected based on one criterion, blue eyes or light hair, which was totally outside of their control. Look at those pictures and think it could have been him, or his friends and relatives, if somebody else was doing the slaughter and the executioner-prey roles were reversed. I honestly thought Werwolf has moved on, but the conscious inclusion of Wolves of Blood and Iron on Lux Satanae clearly shows what he considered worthy of still representing him. First Amendment in full force, the man has a right to speak what he thinks, but seeing what he says, that mind still has some swampy areas I would not want to tread, even though his music is superb.

If Satanic Warmaster is a cold-hearted surgeon holding the scalpel on Lux Satanae, then Archgoat has subtlety of a bloodshot eyes, raging bulldozer leaving no stone on stone left in its wake. This is Finnish bestial black metal at its most noncompromising, opaque and inaccessible. For nine mercifully short cuts Archgoat subjects listeners to certifiable burly aural abuse, nothing more nothing less. The lines between black and death metal are blurred, the riffs just keep on punching and vocals are bellowed roars, Archgoat are priests presiding at an orgy above their meek, prone victims. These songs run together, and the drums are hugely overpowering, but there is no denying a degree of catchiness in Death & Necromancy or Black Messiah, and there are hints of atmosphere on the slower Thrice Damned Sodomizer or bell tolls filled, moody Rise of the Blackmoon.

My musical preferences are very much with Satanic Warmaster on the split, as musical variety, level of songwriting and skills are significantly wider with Werwolf, but I am glad I had the opportunity to get off my chest my disgust for the man’s apparent deep-entrenched convictions. Respect and hails to Archgoat warriors for remaining true to their own violent brand of Satan worship.

Killing Songs :
Black Destiny, My Kingdom of Darkness, Death & Necromancy, Rise of the Blackmoon
Alex quoted 90 / 100 & 73 / 100
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