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Satanic Rites - Which Way The Wind Blows / No Use Crying

Satanic Rites
Which Way The Wind Blows / No Use Crying
by Grigoris Chronis at 29 March 2010, 12:03 PM

***The two albums are sold in separate; they are ‘combined’ here so as to have a more integrated review***

Even if the most breathtaking period of the New Wave Of British Metal typhoon was the first half of the 80s, many many bands delivered high class albums during the 1985–1990 years. Some of them were making a turn towards more ‘American’ sounds and songwriting styles, some others flirted with what would letter become labeled as ‘epic’ or ‘prog’ or ‘evil’Metal while there still were outfits fighting against all odds while trying to even release their self-financed or rare-print works on vinyl, no matter what the sign of the times ordered.

SATANIC RITES proved to be quite a sincere, worth-fighting-for but obscure band from Halifax, West Yorkshire. They delivered the very promising “Live To Ride” 7” single (Heavy Metal Records) just when hell was breaking loose in the NWOBHM discography (1981) and offered a great sample of early British sounds creating a conflict with the band’s impious name. Whoever was not caught by surprise, back then, awarded SATANIC RITES with position #7 at Sounds’ Heavy Metal chart. The come-and-go of a total of three singers resulted in Deborah Webster grabbing the mic plus a keyboardist introduced and two albums - “Which Way The Wind Blows” and “No Use Crying” – were recorded in 1985 and 1987 was the heritage from this really unique British band. For vinyl hunters, let’s just say it’s quite impossible to find the original LP issues of both albums these days (if you will, please drop me a line in case you can’t afford it – maybe I can).

“Which Way The Wind Blows” is very melodic album. It has the raw, original sound of British obscure releases back at the 80s with a 100% ‘live’ feeling you can’t resist, except if you’re a young Metal fan treating this classic stuff as relics…The riffs are simple but original enough, the solos are great with endless melodies and the keyboards enrich the final result bringing on some mystique atmosphere, too. You can bring the minor scales of GIRLSCHOOL, the mid-career harmonies of TANK, the elusive SEVENTH SON sweetness, BLITZKRIEG or SHE maybe, the mysticism of PAGAN ALTAR or SARACEN’s first album and SHIVA to mind while listening to stunning cuts like “Feel The Power”, “Burn In Hell”, “Slam The Door”, “Don’t Tell Lies” and “Which Way The Wind Blows” (this number, in particular, would be a dream-to-have cut for many 70s British classic Rock bands). The vocal style of Deborah plus the 60s Pop patterns in some of the songs may bring on a reference to the European 60s Pop/Rock scene (e.g. THE ZOMBIES, SHOCKING BLUE) plus more air-of-mystery parts painted a COVEN image, too. The addition of the 7” single as a bonus in this re-release and the rich and vary informative lyrics booklet sums up a brilliant submission from the Cult Metal Classics label.

“No Use Crying” is more in-your-face and polished in regards to its predecessor, at lest in terms of melodies/mix, and depicts a SATANIC RITES structure with more commercial confidence and musicianship (I’d add TRESPASS, QUARTZ, TYTAN and ROCK GODDESS as means of relevance). Yet, do not imagine “No Use Crying” is also an introductory first piece of familiar music for the NWOBHM apprentice, no way. Tracks like “Good Times Now”, “Changeling”, “Woman Of Mystery” and “No Use Crying” lift the quality of British Metal music up and – in total – this second album walks on relevant paths with the 1985 LP and is a pretty enjoyable companion even if (only) half a step below in regards to the “Which Way…” debut. Added goodies to the original tracklist include demo versions of “Never So Easy” and “No Use Crying”. Hardrockers aiming to beloved styles like late GIRLSCHOOL, SHY or TOBRUK (far from boasting an AOR profile, though) may find something to dig here, too.

SATANIC RITES’s style is a matter of attitude for those who ‘know’ what layers the NWOBHM school was built upon. The Halifax outfit did not go even one step further after this couple of LPs but remain a shining example of rare yet natty songlist flirting with yearnings and mild melodies conjuring up pleasant memories. This fact an only, added by the actual fact that the original vinyl issues are more than hard to get, makes these two CD renditions more than charming (and quit easy to get at the Cult Metal Classicswebstore).

4 Star Rating

"Which Way The Wind Blows":
  1. Burn In Hell
  2. Matter Of Evolution
  3. Don’t Tell Lies
  4. Fear Of The Night
  5. Turn around
  6. Slam The Door
  7. Law Of The Land
  8. Feel The Power
  9. Which Way The Wind Blows
  10. Live To Ride (Bonus – Vocals By Daz Bingham)
  11. Hit And Run (Bonus – Vocals By Daz Bingham)
"No Use Crying":
  1. Good Times Now
  2. Never So Easy
  3. Borderline
  4. Song For Stuart
  5. Pain Of Confusion
  6. Changeling
  7. Woman Of Mystery
  8. Cast My Spell
  9. Here Comes The War
  10. No Use Crying
  11. Never So Easy (Demo Version)
  12. No Use Crying (Demo Version)
Deborah Webster – Vocals
Stuart Page – Lead Guitars, Vocals
Kevin Doyle - Keyboards, Vocals
David Ingham – Bass
David Kershaw – Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Cult Metal Classics


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Edited 01 June 2020

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