Album review: Lower Than Satan – Left Hand Black

Lower Than Satan - Left Hand Black

I should set the stage by saying that horror-punk isn’t one of my main genres historically. I’ve dabbled some in Tiger Army and Horrorpops, but I’ve never really listened to bands such as the Misfits, which probably is a big inspiration for Left Hand Black. The first I heard from these guys was their contribution to Gr√∂npeppar Records latest compilation where they contributed the song Holding Deaths Hand, which is the closer on this album. I played that song on repat for a couple of days, it’s really melodic and I enjoyed the frontmans voice which fitted the song and style really well. Lower Than Satan is the Swedish horror-punkers second album, following their self titled debut-album from 2020.

With that awesome compilation-track in mind I was pretty excited to hear what the band had cooked up on this release. And I’m disappointed at all. What we get on here is a band with a good sense of melodies and that knows their genre and play really well. What I can have a bit of a problem with, which comes more from the genre in general perhaps, is that the lyrics often become a bit stuck in the theme and therefore a bit non-serious. It’s hard to take horror-themes and elevate them to something bigger than just songs about zombies, vampires, death and murder. I’m all for a fun horror-themed track every now and then, but it risks becoming a bit repetitive for me when listening to a full album.

It does work pretty well on this album though, mostly thanks to the bands ability to write melodic tracks that sticks in your head. I can find myself missing a double bass in some tracks during my first couple of times listening through the album, as this band has a more traditional setup. It doesn’t hurt too much though, as the band is skilled with making the best of what they have to play with, and that feeling of missing something goes away quickly. Some tracks reminds me a bit of Teen Idols, where the band leans more towards the poppier punk sound, mostly so on the track Murder You but also on I’m In Love With a Zombie. There are some tempo-mixes throughout where the band slows things down somewhat which is nice.

All in all a really well played album, with catchy and well written songs throughout. I tend to stray away a bit attention-wise during some songs in the back third of the album, but with 15 tracks in about half an hour it doesn’t get boring listening to the full album. It’s nice to see some good horror-punk coming out from this country and Left Hand Black certainly does it well, and I would recommend giving this a try, there are some really good tunes on here.