October 13, 2023

Satan - Court In The Act (1983) ☠

*First pressing. 
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: APCY-8173
☠: Selected by Buccaneer

© 1983-1994 Far East Metal Syndicate/Roadrunner Records
After nearly three years of climbing its way through the heavy metal underground, Newcastle, England-based Satan was all set to record its debut album for Neat Records. But then, in a move more common in the wide world of sports, they suddenly decided to make a trade, swapping vocalists with local act Avenger to land the talents of well-regarded free agent Brian Ross -- he of Blitzkrieg fame. Thus strengthened, the group proceeded to record what at the time surely ranked among the heaviest albums yet recorded -- even within the fast-evolving New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Indeed, 1983's Court in the Act bordered on the yet undefined style of thrash metal, thanks to the frenetic speeds achieved in cuts like "Trial By Fire" and the amazing "Break Free." But the album also boasted more accessible and melodic mid-paced metal fare, putting great effort into the memorable melodies and choruses heard on "Broken Treaties," "Hunt You Down," and early-day favorite "Blades of Steel." The unusual decision to sequence two instrumental tracks ("The Ritual" and "Dark Side of Innocence") back to back draws attention to the hyperactive lead guitar tandem of Steve Ramsey and Russ Tippins (as if that was even necessary), whose commanding performances throughout and frequent fretboard shredding competitions occasionally rival their heroes Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing of Judas Priest fame. Many years on, Court in the Act retains that strangely contradictory combination of compositional innocence and proto-thrash vision common to many NWOBHM bands, but, with the exception of Ross' painful falsetto punctuations here and there, the overall sound reaches across the decades in only slightly dated fashion. And for committed heavy metal enthusiasts, these qualities do nothing except enrich the final product, making this hard to find album well worth seeking out. [Roadrunner/Neat's 1997 reissue added three bonus cuts, including two rarities recorded just prior to Brian Ross' departure to rejoin Blitzkrieg.]

 tags: satan, court in the act, 1983, flac,


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