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REVIEW: The Great Satan – Highway Sniper (Smartpunk Records)

Highway Sniper The Great Satan

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The Great Satan is the latest EP by Highway Sniper, a truth telling dark hardcore punk act, from the nether regions of Cleveland native Eric Egan’s bizarre and twisted mind. Although, when you come to listen to The Great Satan a couple of times, as this reviewer certainly has, you begin to identify the message behind Lucarelli’s aggressive assault on the audible senses. Because in Lucarelli’s case, the music hasn’t set him free, it’s made him fucking angry and rightfully so. An anger which is rightfully attuned for us all to benefit. 

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The Great Satan is Violent, Torturous and Unrelenting

The Great Satan - Highway Sniper (Smartpunk Records)
The Great Satan – Highway Sniper (Smartpunk Records)

From the intro track, where dissonant guitars lead us into the haunting voice over of “The Great Satan is America,” you know you’re in for a hell of a good time. The second and title track wastes little time as the bounding drum beats lead us into a ferocious assault on the establishment. Clocking in at less than 2 mins, The Great Satan quickly transitions into a slow and methodical guitar breakdown that is very  90s alternative rock in its approach, as the haunting mutters of what sounds like Korean or Chinese narration sees out the second track.

The third track, Mission Accomplished, wears its heart on its sleeve as a no-bullshit I hate government/I hate everybody song that takes no prisoners. Though distorted the vocals are, you swear Lucarelli is singing “as I beckon for war” which is perfect in its delivery. Leaving little room for recovery as a quiet guitar riff begs you to take a breather before the next round of Highway Sniper smashed its way through your headphones. 

Busy Signal at the Embassy is 1:27 of absolute carnage. Violent, torturous, unrelenting ferocity which will see you banging your head before it, too, disappears into the sunset as quickly as it appears. The outlaw cowboy track of this EP. 

Cycles of Pain is the hardcore punk track that’ll get you stirred, excited and up on your feet. Punching your fists into the air and jumping into the empty mosh pit in your bedroom. With those classic punk drum fills that signals were nearing the end of this hardcore punk ride. Keep your hands inside the car until the ride comes to a complete stop. 

Highway Sniper Band Photo
Highway Sniper Band Photo

You probably didn’t think race was going to be covered on this hardcore EP but with the sample that kicks off the track, Two Gods, echoing the educated sentiment of “racial cleansing for peace is absurd” you get a clear indication that this band is taking no prisoners with their very vocal stance on equality. For that, you get a cacophony of rage and vilification condensed into barely 2 minutes of power. If only it were possible to march in protest to the beat of this song. 

The Sacred Contempt, the longest track on the record sees out The Great Satan. A brazen, relentless final political statement on the bands own policy. The crowning jewel that screams for decency at the corrupt, bloated corpse of a world gone mad. With that final haunting riff leading us out into the cold in a world of darkness. 

Only the Ignorant would discount The Great Satan

The Great Satan is the last outpost where the final line in the sand is drawn. Taking its own incorruptible values and moulding them into an undomesticated savage beast. Each and every song pries open the earlobes of every listener to scream obscenities directly into the soul. But what is obscene, if the world is as dark as the one we’re faced with today? While I’ve never heard the phrase ‘Dark Hardcore Punk’ coined. That descriptor hits as near to the mark as any other could. Only the ignorant would mark this EP as unlistenable. It’s poignant and the most relevant piece of aggressive music written in 2022. 

Highway Sniper‘s The Great Satan drops July 27, 2022 wherever you get your music from.

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