"In the Name of Satan"

(Rotting Corpse)

01. Procession of the Leviathan
02. Annihilation has Come
03. Ascension
04. Exhibit A (The Letter to the Parents)
05. Sun ov Darkness
06. Vitriolic Message of Hate
07. Giants
08. Turning Paradise to Ash
09. The Transmission

RATING: 7.5/10

Not completely black metal, but not exactly death metal either (nor is it really blackened death, but it's close), "In the Name of Satan" by Massachusetts' BABY STAB HORROR is a tight, punishing, and groovy sophomore effort. Besides, with a name like BABY STAB HORROR and a title like "In the Name of Satan" you probably already figured out that the style isn't Christian metalcore and the lyrics are about a thousand miles south of a MILEY CYRUS album.

Bands such as BEHEMOTH, VADER, and DIMMU BORGIR get thrown around by label folks as "for fans of" reference points, which is not as far off as it may seem after time spent with "In the Name of Satan". It basically boils down to a thick, riff-based death/thrash approach (ala VADER and BEHEMOTH) with sections that fuse the evil with the majestic — emphasized by some electronic elements — in a decidedly blackened sort of way (ala DIMMU BORGIR). Those are general comparisons though, as BABY STAB HORROR is a relatively unique entity, even if the influences are easily identified.

What really makes "In the Name of Satan" go is a kind of industrial-metal propulsion not unlike that heard on PLAGUE BRINGER's "Life Songs in a Land of Death", except that the grind elements aren't there. It is more in the way the guitar lines are wrapped tightly around the drum blasting. The raspy (and decipherable) vocals — periodically offset with death growls, some damn creepy spoken word bits (e.g. "Exhibit A [The Letter to the Parents]"), and even the occasional backing shout — are a big part of the album's black metal sounds. More importantly, the rapid fire delivery of the raspy singing and the growls are perfectly patterned and enunciated, a difficult feat, considering the predominantly quick pacing. The compact (not compressed) sound has a real kick to it and the nefarious aura is pervasive as well.

The combination of those hard-driving, hell-on-wheels rhythms with the unit's smart use of memorable riffs that emphasize head-bang worthiness over technicality and a knack for penning some pretty good melodies (check out "Annihilation Has Come" and "Vitriolic Message of Hate") make "In the Name of Satan" a robust affair. It is one of those albums that will probably go unnoticed by far too many people. Those lucky enough to stumble upon it may be pleasantly surprised.


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