Known for its obsession with Satanism and the occult, Satanic Slaughter was a short-lived Swedish death metal/black metal band that evolved into the better-known Witchery. The blistering, ferocious Satanic Slaughter was formed in Sweden in the mid-'90s, when founder/bassist Stephan Dark joined forces with singer Toxine, drummer Mique, and two guitarists: Patrik Jensen (formerly of Seance) and Richard Corpse. Unlike some of the Scandinavian death metal, black metal, and grindcore bands that emerged in the 1990s, Satanic Slaughter did not favor an ultra-fast tempo every minute of the day; its tempos varied, although the headbangers provided enough fast moments to encourage the formation of mosh pits at its live shows. After recording two equally brutal albums with the band -- Satanic Slaughter and Land of the Unholy Souls, both on Necropolis -- Stephan Dark parted company with the four other Swedes in 1997. That was when Satanic Slaughter became Witchery and a new lineup was formed, one that included Toxine on lead vocals, Jensen and Corpse on guitar, Mique on drums, and Sharlee D'Angelo (of Mercyful Fate fame) on bass instead of Dark. When Mique left the band, he was replaced by Martin Axe (who had been with a Scandinavian band called Nifelheim). For Jensen, Witchery has not been a full-time gig; he is best known for playing with the Haunted, another Swedish death metal/black metal outfit. As Witchery, the new lineup made its recording debut for Necropolis with 1998's Restless and Dead and went on to provide several more albums for that label in the late '90s and early 2000s. In 2001, Necropolis reissued Satanic Slaughter and Land of the Unholy Souls back-to-back on a 25-track CD titled The Early Years: Dawn of Darkness.
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