Portland Metal Punks Satanarchist Fire a Warning Shot with ‘First Against the Wall’

I’m so glad that this band exists.

That’s all I’ve got, really. I’m just really glad that a band from Portland, Oregon is making this kind of music right now, and that we’re posting it this week specifically. Their crusty, weirdly catchy, deceptively clever mix of black metal, thrash, and punk, with its in-your-face political lyrics and see-you-on-the barricades aggression, feels fresh and necessary ,and their blustery, brutal cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Silver Ships to Andilar” only adds to the darkness. It’s not at all atypical to find a band like this haunting the Pacific Northwest, where the fuzzy borders between metal and crust punk are barely visible, but Satanarchist’s self-released new album, First Against the Wall, hits a sweet spot that’s rarely touched by the more atmospheric or more outright punk bands out in their neck of the Oregon woods. In short, they don’t sound like anyone else—and their lyrics tackle subjects that we don’t see mentioned nearly enough within the confines of extreme metal.

Satanarchist’s name isn’t just a cute play on words; the band’s two members, John Edwards and Mark Nunziata, practice what they screech, railing against the government, organized religion, and other forms of institutionalized oppression between pitch-black notes and jumpy d-beats. The project began as a bit more of a punny, tongue-in-cheek entity (think Satanic Threat), but on First Against a Wall, it’s immediately apparent that the band has started taking itself—and its message—dead seriously. Recorded and mixed by Fester at Haywire Studios and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, the record is an undeniably impressive achievement, even more so given the band’s firm commitment to keeping their operations DIY.

If you care about things like fighting against the rise of fascism, ecological sustainability, social justice, the horrors wrought by organized religion, the abolishment of the American prison industrial complex, or even just the broad ideas of justice and equality, you’ll find much that speaks to you on this album. If, on the other hand, you dig smart, intricate black/thrash but “don’t care about politics” and want them kept out of your entertainment (or you outright hate leftist politics, or think all leftists are liberal SJW snowflakes or whatever other nonsense)… honestly, you’ll still probably like this. The music stands up on its own—the lyrics are just a bonus for those of us who understand the importance of paying attention. Especially here. Especially now.

Listen to First Against the Wall below, order it from the band here, and never forget: the freedom of all is essential to our freedom.

SATANARCHIST Canada Tour 2017:
6/01/2017 Maniac Mansion – Fredericton, NB w/ Hard Charger
6/02/2017 Scanner Bistro – Quebec City, QC w/ Hard Charger
6/03/2017 House Of Targ – Ottawa, ON w/ Hard Charger
6/0/2017 The Garnet – Peterborough, ON w/ Hard Charger
6/05/2017 Doors Pub – Hamilton, ON w/ Hard Charger, Greber, Thick Piss
6/06/2017 The Windsor Beer Exchange – Windsor, ON w/ Hard Charger
6/07/2017 The Temple – St. Catherines, ON w/ Hard Charger
6/08/2017 Coalition – Toronto, ON w/ Hard Charger, F*ckhawk, Black Tar
6/09/2017 Fattal – Montreal, QC w/ Hard Charger
6/10/2017 Rock Le Stage – Trois Rivieres, QC w/ Hard Charger

Kim Kelly is waving the black flag on Twitter.
Photo by Kathleen Kennedy

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