Review - Satanic Hell #1

When it comes to states in the United States, every one is known for something. South Carolina tried to secede, Florida is, well, Florida, and Texas is a whole different world. The state has quite a large religious contingent to it, but in today's America that religion is separated from government.

That's not the Texas in the world of Satanic Hell #1, published by Zeno Telos Press. It's written by Grigoris Douros, illustrated by Kevin Enhart and Newel Anderson, colored by Jimmy Kerast and lettered by Enhart.

Three members of the industrial metal band Satanic Hell are cruising the interstates en route to their next gig. Death Priest, Dante and Exodus only know they have a gig, set up by the mysterious promoter Sam.

Their travels take them to Texas, the state under intense religious control. As such, their beliefs and "demon worshipping" make them prime targets for profiling and arrest. They're subjected to punishment for their anti-religious ways, until they're freed from police custody.

There's also the character Meli Panoulis, who is detained for her interest in Satanic Hell. It's likely she'll play a role down the road and will encounter Satanic Hell at some point.

Douros' story is actually quite refreshing. It's an interesting take on the industrial metal scene, with Satanic Hell embodying the elements of said scene. They're believable as a group, as their conversation in the car ride is very contextual and helps establish them as an industrial metal band.

The concept of them being stuck in an authoritarian Christian Texas is interesting. It's an extreme for sure, but it's a great built-foil for the band. More often than not, characters like Satanic Hell are viewed as "villains," but in Satanic Hell #1 they're setting up to be the heroes.

The book's illustrations by Enhart and Anderson have a gritty quality to them. There's a harshness effectively captured that depicts Texas as a truly oppressive state. Characters even have that Texas Chainsaw Massacre feel to them, showing a simplemindedness that effectively prevents them from independent thought.

The illustrations are further amplified by Kerast's colors. Multiple filters are used, most of which add a burnt sense to the state of Texas. This could be to emphasize the heat of the state, or quite possibly it's a representation of Satanic Hell being in the state.

Satanic Hell #1 is a hyperbolic tale where the religious right runs the show. They've implemented an extremely oppressive regime where anything that disagrees with religion is considered illegal. It'll be interesting to watch as Satanic Hell make their way through the state of Texas and learn more about it.

Satanic Hell #1 is available now.