666 - Satan's Soldiers Syndicate by Desaster
Release date : September 2007
Reviewed by Anthony Morgan
Named after the Destruction track "Total Desaster", Desaster's beginnings can be traced as far back as 1988. Though issuing demos in 1993 and 1994, it wasn't until 1996 that first album A Touch of Medieval Darkness hit the shelves. 1998's Hellfire’s Dominion and 2000's Tyrants of the Netherworld followed in succession, though vocalist Okkulto left the band in the summer of 2001 after several appearances at festivals such as Fuck the Commerce and the Wacken Open Air. Sataniac filled the vocal position, boasting credentials as the former mainman of German Black / Thrash Metal group Divine Genocide. Divine Blasphemies came in 2002, while Metal Blade debut Angelwhore saw release three years later. Harrow Studios in Holland provided a venue where sixth album 666 - Satan's Soldiers Syndicate could be recorded, the band entering the location in May 2007.
Each song is cannily underpinned by a vital thread, and that unceremoniously unites the album as a whole. The decisive thread soon equates to a brisk onslaught, swiftly charging along the well oiled tracks. It's commonly discussed in journalist circles how a group's given studio material pales in comparison to their live energy, and how their studio work would positively benefit if it better reflected their gig sound. While it would be disingenuous to claim that Desaster have wholly avoided this common ailment (no group can really claim they ever truly have), they certainly don't register at the abysmally poor end of the scale. The raging beat that courses through the veins of these respective tracks cannot be simply mastered, and is a priceless quality which a group's catalogue either has or doesn't. The distinctively live aura unfortunately fails to fully compete on the level of established institutions such as Motörhead, it still makes a tangible argument in aspiring to such heights.
Whereas most opt to intentionally alienate the listener for no given purpose, this album carves a chosen path which excels in both focus and clarity. Although the more extreme elements remain faithfully uncompromised it still reaches out its sweaty palm and aggressively pinches you by the burning earlobes. Whether you're young and old, or fresh and aging, it takes measure towards gleefully dragging you to a live show for a great and memorable evening. It bridges the balance between those opposite elements of extremity and commercial viability, pairing up both to form a winning team. Rather than meld together a handful of myriad influences, Desaster adopt a rather simple formula and quickly race out of the tracks. A podium finish in sight, the group walk away with their heads held high.