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Sato - Leather Warriors - Sato Anthology 82/86

Leather Warriors - Sato Anthology 82/86
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 27 November 2017, 10:49 PM

If there is one thing that I like about bands’ anthologies, especially the bands that were cut off the grid too soon in the 80s, is that on most cases you can witness the decision making behind the songwriting. Of course that songwriting, at least the vast majority that I like to believe, is done from the heart, the need to express oneself to the world. However, it has been proven that a shift in the tide might have an artist take different turns, angles in order to survive and maintain a stance in the industry. For some it worked, and for some it was mere bad luck or sheer failure. Harsh business I know. SATO, the Seattle residents, at least in origin more than 3 decades ago, caught fire in the early 80s, spreading their music around, trying like others to gather following and slowly create a legacy for themselves. Lost Realm Records took point for the unfortunate band and released as a compilation their demo exports between 1982 to 1986. Sadly the band didn’t last longer, assumingly never entered the 90s. However, a bit of trivia, one of its members, bass player Mike Starr, was actually one of the founders of the to be Grunge / Metal giants ALICE IN CHAINS.

Now back to my reason for enjoyment of anthologies, like I said, decision making is evident that ended up in having the ability to witness various faces of a band. SATO, judging by the first couple of tunes, sounded like a motivated, and with potential, a hybrid of early QUEENSRYCHE and MERCYFUL FATE, chopping and slightly darker in their NWOBHM oriented approach. “Leather Warrior” is a heavy riff based Metalhead’s hymn while “Halloween” serves as a one last beacon of darkness in what will be a different setting. Later on it was probably hard for them to escape the need to be marketable, approachable, crowd pleasers in a way. However, it didn’t hurt much and exported some fine tunes such as “Wheels Burn” and “Born with Fire”, catchy tunes, following what seemed to me like “Rock The Nations” era of SAXON, grasping the old DOKKEN spirit with bits of TWISTED SISTER and KISS. Flashing forward, SATO pretty much kept the same memorable ambience, yet raised the bar with full blown Hard N’ Heavy wall of fire. Though they had their lacklustre slips, the fiery “Lost in Love (Again)”, portraying a kind of a OBSESSION / LOUDNESS with an early VAN HALEN soul and lest I forget the sweet dripping balladry “She's Like the Rain” couldn’t be denied. Eventually, SATO were in line with the rapidly forming front of the Hair Metal nation that shoved its nose into the US Metal scene near the end of the 80s. At least in my bill their Metal is above solid rate in comparison to other examples of the era.

Included as part of the double CD package of this distinguished Anthology, Lost Realm Records were able to conjure up notable rarities in the image of the band’s last ever show, totally showing the band’s powerful drive, and you have to give them a hand of applause, and a local festival show along with some of the Metal scene’s rising stars, some made it happen and others succumbed to a bitter fate, a piece of memory and evidence that are for every collector.

Short-lived as it was, SATO was probably a casualty of the industry, not celebrated much but at least they were finally awarded with a chance to be heard and noticed.

Purchase Link: Lost Realm Records

4 Star Rating

1. Leather Warrior
2. Halloween
3. Wheels Burn
4. Born with Fire
5. Stealer
6. Night Prowler
7. Hanna Lee
8. Lost in Love (Again)
9. Pushing Back
10. She's Like the Rain
Dean Jeffries - Vocals
Terry Lee - Guitars
Ken Kramer - Guitars
Mike Starr - Bass
Dave Jensen - Drums
Record Label: Lost Realm Records


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