Album: Satan is King
Label: Prosthetic Records
Genre: Grindcore, Powerviolence, Hardcore
Release Date: May 15, 2020
For Fans Of: Spazz, Nails, Weekend Nachos
Antichrist Demoncore, more commonly known as ACxDC, have been dominating the Los Angeles powerviolence and hardcore scenes for the past 17 years, Preaching Satan and straight-edge politics, the band has maintained their no fucks given attitude despite multiple personnel changes over their career. Through constant touring and being attached to shows with bands of all different genres, the band has really become cemented as a mainstay of the heavy music world. They released a seemingly endless stream of EPs, comps and splits up until a surprising halt in output four years ago. Thankfully 2020 sees the band release the much anticipated Satan is King, which is only their second full length album.
A band who has become known for uncompromising aggression, ACxDC do not compromise on this album. From the opening track, Singe, the album is unrelenting and does not let up until the album closes. While the aggression is about as kick ass as you might expect it to be, the surprising standouts of Satan is King, are the slowed down passages where the band can settle into a groove. Let’s make this clear, we’re not getting into Pantera-esque groove metal territory, however, the band is time and time again willing to settle into a riff that gets the head moving and is sure to get pits going. This has been a mainstay of the bands style throughout their career and is to be expected given their hardcore roots, however, Satan is King may be the first time that the slower segments stand out over pure aggression. Despite this, the band is able to blend blast and d-beat into infectious songs that work their way into the listeners head.
I am struggling to find negatives to this album. If there has to be something to nitpick, it’s that there is a sense of sameness to the album. The songs don’t blend together but it would be hard to pick standouts as they sort of follow a pattern, play fast, get pissed and scream about it! But what else do you want from a powerviolence album? It’s a brisk 23 minutes and gets in and out before overstaying its welcome. Plus, there is a lot to get pissed and scream about these days, especially in the U.S., and ACxDC leave no topic untouched. Lyrics and message have always been a focal point of the band and they are not letting the world off easy this time.
Something this aggressive should not be this fun to listen to but this is not a band that has ever shied away from having a good time with their music. Powerviolence is usually a genre that thrives on being chaotic noise, but the songs on Satan is King really stick with you. On more than one occasion I have found myself humming one of the grooves aloud, which is something I don’t think a band in this genre, other than Nails, has ever made me do. This album sort of has it all; it’s a blast to listen to, the musicianship is top notch and it’s just plain catchy.
Satan is King is a welcome return for the band and may be their best output yet. ACxDC have truly crafted something special here and I can honestly say that I love this album and I could sit here and sing its praises all day. It’s the perfect soundtrack to the societal downfall that we are in right now and is sure to be heavy in my listening rotation for the rest of the year. If powerviolence is not usually your thing I would suggest giving this album a listen as it may just be the one to bring you around.
Rating: 9 / 10
- Mouth Breather
- Satan is King
- Propaganda of the Deed
- Exercise in Futility
- Urban Blight
- Come out Fighting
- Ashes to Ashes
- Back in the Black Bloc
- Maggot Museum
Total Playing Time: 23:06