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Court In The Act

Roadrunner (1983)
Rating: 9/10

I always thought this album was going to be something special, and indeed it’s certainly lived up to my expectations.

Much of the material here was previously included on Satan’s demo cassette release of last year, Into The Fire, but each of those numbers show a vast improvement from their originals. Firstly, because of the tighter production from Yusman Osman “Stosh”, and secondly because of the recruitment to the ranks of former Avenger and Blitzkrieg vocalist Brian Ross.

Opening with the haunting intro ‘Into The Fire’, the album explodes into ‘Trial By Fire’, a fast paced slice of metallic mayhem from which there’s no holding back. ‘Blades Of Steel’, as the title suggests, is pure metal, while the aggressive ‘No Turning Back’ and the Red Indian anthem ‘Broken Treaties’ are about as subtle as the Indians attack on the cavalry at The Battle Of The Little Big Horn. There’s certainly no mercy shown to the listener here, as the barrage of hard, fast riffing and stunning lead breaks from Russ Tippins and Steve Ramsey leap out of the speakers like the Devil himself.

‘Break Free’ opens side two and for me is the best cut on the album, being delivered at Metallica speed amidst the screams and hollers from Brian Ross; pure metal up your ass.

It should be pointed out that despite their name, Satan, who hail from Newcastle, are certainly no black metal band. They stay well clear of the Satanical subjects and concentrate more on revenge, terror and breaking the law. I’m sure ‘Hunt You Down’ must be aimed at the numerous backstabbers within the music industry (journalists included) who inspired by jealousy and greed, carry out their devious methods in search of fame and one-upmanship.

Two instrumentals follow: ‘The Ritual’, being fast and aggressive spurned on by the frantic drumming of Sean Taylor, reminding me a lot of Maiden’s ‘Genghis Khan’, and ‘Dark Side Of Innocence’, which offers some light relief with some acoustic guitar from bassist Graeme English, that introduces the final number ‘Alone In The Dock’. An excellent closer it is too.

Court In The Act is a must for any heavy metal collection and joins Tokyo Blade’s self-titled debut as the best UK release of 1983.

Bernard Doe

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 2 (1983)

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