“Broke and directionless, the three members of the industrial metal band “Satanic Hell” arrive in Texas for a chance tour set up by a mysterious promoter named Sam. Death Priest, Dante, and Exodus quickly find trouble in the bizarre world of Texas, now an authoritarian Christian state controlled by a council of religious fanatics”
Satanic Hell is an indie/creator owned title from Zeno Telos Press. The comic begins with the trio of rock band members driving across the rural American Bible Belt. Along the desert road they run low on gas and supplies and are forced to pull into a redneck service stop. The band sporting long hair and black leather clothes don’t go down too well with the locals and it’s not long before they are in trouble with the law.
The first thing that struck me with this book was the artwork. It has a unique style and the outdoor sequences in the hot desert sun are incredible. The artwork by Kevin Enhart and Newel Anderson is very good. The characters are well drawn and the detail is also good. For me, the star of the book is colorist Jimmy Kerast. The coloring is what gives this comic its tone, and it has a wonderful aged and vintage look. It looks very much like a painting rather than digital coloring, and I am a big fan of this style. The lettering has a nice style but I feel that it could have been a little smaller as it often dominates the panels.
This book really reminds me of the old 70’s and 80’s horror films and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in particular would be a good comparison. The familiar elements you would expect from this type are story are present such as the redneck gas station, the corrupt local cops and religious fanatic intolerant locals. While this offers a comforting formula for the reader, it also accomplishes this with style. Writer Grigoris Douros has done a good job and managed to side step the obvious routes the book could have taken. He also deserves credit for taking a swipe at religious fanatics and it’s a brave move to tackle religion in any comic. Although the story is far fetched, the characters are still believable, which is not an easy thing to do.
This is the first issue of a seven-part story and it’s a great way to start off proceedings. There is plenty of action in this installment and also enough substance to keep the reader entertained. The pace is good and nothing feels too rushed and nor does it ever get boring. It looks like the rock band Satanic Hell may have taken on more than they can handle and I want to find out what happens next. The plan is to release a new issue digitally every six weeks, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long for the next chapter. The comic series has a Facebook page and a website with more information. Go to www.satanichell.com for details on how to order.