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Satanic Threat: In to Hell

I'm torn. This is not an album that anyone should hear if they don't understand its direct connections to Minor Threat's only studio album Out of Step. With such an iconic band lingering in the background, I don't see how anyone can grasp this album as anything other than a tribute to a great band or some kind of unusual dialogue with them. Simply put, Satanic Threat is taking Minor Threat's music, changing the lyrics and themes to satanic anthems and enjoying every minute of it. In a world of satanic panics and culture wars, this album should be read mostly as a blasphemous joke, one that is easier to understand, to contextualize, by those who know the larger history of the scene.

It's important, too, to remember that a certain amount of the satanic element of bands like this is meant as a joke, a jab against mainstream culture and Christianity. Yes, it's irreverent, unfortunately so, but it isn't a satanic manifesto or some kind of weapon. Far too many people wring their hands as to whether bands like this mean what they say or whether they advocate some real connection to Satan. I suspect this is more of a tongue-in-cheek return to blasphemy in a scene that has overplayed that hand so much that it's lost its ability to shock. I shouldn't defend this album; I didn't like it that much, nor did I think the joke was all that funny. If someone wants to knock Christianity, why do it through entertainment?

In the end, this album asks an odd question: What if hardcore punk were somehow like black metal? I don't want to know. I can say, though, that it does help expose the artificial nature of much of the Satanism that shows up in metal. Is it all just a big show, a flexing of muscles to ward off potential threats? Probably. Hardcore had read strength but is long since dead; albums like this can only echo its energy and its excitement. Go dig up your Minor Threat, Youth of Today, and Uniform Choice cassettes out and leave this alone. Those guys knew when to stop, but this is too sustained in its Satanism, too deliberate, too in love with its blasphemy, to be anything other than a gimmick. The satanic sheep on the cover is kind of cute, though.

Track Listing:
1. Guilty of Hating Christ
2. He's on the Cross
3. Small God, Big Cross
4. Satanic Threat
5. I Ain't Gotta Worship
6. Being Black
7. Cursing at the Cross
8. Don't Follow Him
9. He's on the Cross (Live)
10. Small God, Big Cross (Live)
11. Satanic Threat (Live)
12. I Ain't Gotta Worship (Live)
13. Being Black (Live)
14. Cursing at the Cross (Live)
15. Don't Follow Him (Live)
16. Steppin' Stone (Live)

Added: February 22nd 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Myspace Page
Hits: 1777
Language: english

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