Well, after reviewing another album by true cult creepers and religious deviants Sabbath Assembly, I thought things couldn’t wander any further into strangeville. Clearly, I was mistaken and to prove it, Nightsatan arrived in my promo bin with their second album, Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom. Why are they so weird you ask, apart from the truly dreadful moniker? Well for starters, this Finnish three-piece records spacy, synth-heavy soundtracks to late 1970s/early 80s, Grade-Z, post-apocalyptic sci-fi movies…that don’t exist. That’s correct, soundtracks to imaginary movies that would have played at your local drive-ins at midnight along with such classics as Galaxy of Terror, Deathrace 2000 and Deathsport (the latter of which features the mother of all cheesy synth soundtracks).
Loops of Doom is not metal in the traditional sense, but the underlying concept sure as hell is, as that wonderful eyesore of an album cover clearly demonstrates. What you get is 48 minutes worth of highly listenable, extremely moody synth-scapes that will keep you hooked in once you submit and let it sink its mutated claws in. In fact, some of the compositions are so addicting and hypnotic, I’ve been playing them on repeat for long periods of time. I don’t do that very often, that’s for sure. It’s so successful at what it sets out to accomplish, you can almost see the movie this was meant to accompany, and let me tell ya, that movie rocks (and probably stars John Saxon). The band sells it best with their tagline “adventure, horror and synthesizers.”
Since this is essentially a soundtrack, it really needs to be spun together to benefit from the ebbs and flows of mood. That doesn’t mean it’s without standout moments, however. Opener “Lost Karelia” is all somber sadness that effectively conjures images of blighted, ruined cities and wrecked monuments to once great civilizations. Better yet and a big standout is “Obey the Master,” which keeps the melancholy factor high while developing a marching pace that conveys just a hint of lightness and hope in the counter-point melodies. The title track has a great, downcast feel to it and segues beautifully into the more upbeat “Secrets of the Mystery,” which is another standout and extremely catchy. The more spacy, upbeat vibe on “Nightmare in the Night Doomsday Judgment” (hello, ESL champion) reminds me of some of Ayreon‘s more keyboard heavy works like Flight of the Migrator.
As the album unspools, it gets more and more depressive and forlorn, with tracks like “Rejects of the Wastelands” and “Echoes of Dying World” being unrelentingly grim and sorrowful. In fact, this ends up being a true doom album for all intents and purposes, done with synths rather than heavy, Sabbath-ian riffs. It pains me to admit it, but it also conveys more genuine feelings of sadness and despair than most doom albums can. Kudos are in order for pulling that one off.
Is this an acquired taste? Absofuckinglutely. Should Vangelis be looking over his shoulder? No. Still, I expected this thing to be one big inside joke (as their little homemade movie would strongly suggest), but here I am hopelessly lost in the loops and spinning it over and over. If you want to hear something very different and unusual, these synth lords are a good option. Did I mention Boba Fett is in the band?
Label: Svart Records
Websites: facebook.com/pages/Nightsatan-and-the-Loops-of-Doom |
Release Dates: Out Worldwide 05.09.2014