Satanic Hell is seven issue digital comic series about the metal band Satanic Hell, who get caught in the religious dystopia of Texas. The book is certainly over the top and could be called juvenile but it captures the feel of comic book metal-horror with the tight precision of a skilled heavy metal guitarist. The book certainly comes from a very specific perspective reminiscent of industrial music greats like 1000 Homo DJs’ Hey Asshole and The Revolting Cocks’ Beers, Steers and Queers – both Al Jourgensen projects. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a fan of all of the above so this book has a special place in my heart and I look forward to reading issue #2 of Satanic Hell. That aside, the title is still a comic that not only handle the above but it does it with apt skill.
The first thing that really sticks out about Satanic Hell is Kevin Enhart’s ragged but cartoony and staticky pencils that are as good as some of the more crazy and cool stuff that IDW publishes. Enhart’s art is enhanced and made dark and brooding where necessary by Jimmy Kerast’s coloring which makes the atmosphere of this book spectacular. The art in this book also does a great job of making the lead characters, the potentially unsympathetic-because-they’re-metalheads, into personable, friendly and ultimately realistic band members for the reader to non only bond with but feel bad for.
Like I said before, the perspective of this book is very specific – it comes from a pariah-martyr complex that is deeply rooted in the heavy metal and genre-adjacent scenes. While it is often over the top, it is not completely uncalled for and Satanic Hell grasps and represents it extremely well through the writing and concept from its scribe, Grigoris Douros. There are definitely moments in the first issue of Satanic Hell where I feel like Douros broke some rules to fit in more story but overall, the story is authentic and gripping and just fun.
As I was writing this review, I realized that Satanic Hell issue #02 is now available and I look forward to reading that as well.