Shout at the Devil is essentially a conglomeration of styles of metal and hard rock. Most of the tracks revel in the stereotypical heavy metal and hard rock sounds of the decade, but "Red Hot" stands out because speed metal roots are quite obvious with constant double bass pounding courtesy of Tommy Lee and Mick Mars' heavy-handed guitar riffs. Nearly, if not all, songs shine with AOR-like quality, despite being backed by a shocking pentagram-tinged cover art. In a way, the whole ordeal reminds me of W.A.S.P., though the Crüe would never reach the same level of straight profanity and immaturity detested by the PMRC. 95% of the record loiters around in midpaced song writing, but I often wonder what a good speeding up might do for many of the tracks, particularly "Bastard" with its aggressive guitaring and song writing. Mick Mars' knack for throwing together an excellent guitar riff, coupled with Nikki Sixx's hooky melodies became a de facto standard for anyone wanting to add a savvy mainstream twist on their heavy music.
Lamentably, my biggest qualm with the record is the title track. From the beginning, the song has been heralded as a metal classic, but I hear little, if any, metallic riffraff from Mötley Crüe in the composition. Instead, "Shout at the Devil" is more indicative of hard rock with simplistic guitar riffs and drumming, which is disappointing because the first time I heard the song, I expected some sort of metal mastery normally associated with Satan and similar themes. "Looks that Kill," "Too Young to Fall in Love," and "Ten Seconds to Love," also are well known tracks; however, these three don't try to mask what they are under a cleverly-placed cloak. The rest of Shout at the Devil is essential material for Mötley Crüe fans, most better than the band's so called "must have" work.
In the end, what listeners have is Mötley Crüe and glammy stylings at a mutual peak. Shout at the Devil is an excellent listen on its own, but when one considers the impact the album had on the rock and metal scene, the experience becomes simply immense. Compared with subsequent records, the band had unknowingly set the bar too high, and, much to my dismay, were unable to approach the bar ever again. Sad but true.