Sometimes I want metal to transport me to mystical realms, or plumb the depths of darkness in my soul, or even to challenge my very concept of what constitutes music. Other times (most of the time), however, I just want to hear a band play hard and fast and yell some bullshit about Satan. For such times as those, Baphomet’s Blood’s In Satan We Trust fits the bill perfectly. With a sound steeped so deeply in early 80s thrash and NWOBHM you can smell the leather, In Satan We Trust is pure satanic speed metal, and a Hell of a good time.
Much like Venom, Baphomet’s Blood’s lyrics are over the top, and guitarist/vocalist Necrovomiterror’s Lemmy-with-an-Italian-accent delivery begets some amusing mispronunciations and general awkwardness that makes it impossible to take any of the band’s blasphemy seriously. Then again, nobody took Venom’s blasphemy seriously either.
The music, on the other hand, is as serious as suicide. Speed metal isn’t exactly particle physics, but there’s no denying Baphomet’s Blood has its act down pat. As well it should, with three previous records under its belt. The band manages the improbable feat of sounding loose while playing tight as a noose. Most of the songs are built from the blues-rock-in-a-blender and double-stop riffs that were the bread and butter of every early Eighties metal band from Accept to Mercyful Fate, but they still work like a charm. It doesn’t hurt that Baphomet’s Blood dishes everything out with a Slayer-like intensity that gives the material an imposing weight, despite its high velocity. Credit must be given to drummer, S. R. Bestial Hammer (not his Christian name, I presume), who lays down strong, straight-forward beats in a Philthy “Animal” Taylor fashion, but also double kicks the shit out of almost everything, which imbues the songs with an exhilarating energy.
In Satan We Trust benefits immensely from a sterling production, undoubtedly the best the group has ever had. The guitars are meaty, but cut like razors, and the drums are well articulated, but with a monstrous low-end that gives the band the V-12 power it needs to drive the metal home.
As fun as this record is – and it’s shitloads of fun – there’s no getting around the fact that Baphomet’s Blood’s approach is pretty formulaic. The songs are all built from the same types of riffs; the tempo is balls-to-the-wall ninety percent of the time; and the arrangements contain few surprises. Among those few surprises are the mid-paced, “Hell Awaits”-like intro to the opening track, “Command of the Inverted Cross.” This mid-paced groove seems out of place in light of all the speed metal that follows, but the band executes it with the same conviction it executes everything else, and the results are heavy as balls. Elsewhere, “Triple Six” breaks down in its midsection for some comparatively relaxed, bluesy soloing, and the final two tracks, “Whiskey Rocker” and the cover tune “Eleg,” both lean a little more toward the rock side of the band’s sound, but not enough to classify as a departure from the norm of In Satan We Trust by any magnitude.
Have I mentioned that this record is fun? Because that is the principal point I’m trying to drive home here. In Satan We Trust is derivative as all Hell, but in its own way, it’s almost perfect. It’s an electrifying, head-banging frenzy from start to finish. If speed metal is your drug of choice, Baphomet’s Blood delivers the primo, un-cut shit.