Riven, the 2011 album by Germany’s Satyros, was one of my favorites from last year. The band self-released it last March, and I posted this review in April. I also included one of its tracks on our list of 2011′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs (here). It was an ambitious undertaking, a true musical journey consisting of 12 songs and approximately an hour’s worth of diverse music that took years to create, and yet the band released it for free download on Bandcamp — as they have with everything they’ve released to date.
Satyros are now working on their third album, but in the meantime they’ve started a new project, the concept of which is just as interesting as the music. They call it the Open-Anthology-Project, and its first product is an EP named The Dirt of Ages, which Satyros put up on Bandcamp yesterday to celebrate their 7th anniversary as a band. For the EP, the band assembled three songs not included in their previous works — but this is only the beginning.
Satyros intend to use the project as a vehicle for releasing future songs that would not be part of albums. As the band explain, “This allows us even more artistic freedom to experiment with new sounds, styles, and blends of genres than before, apart from our songwriting for upcoming full-length outputs.”
This is a cool idea, and one that I hope catches on with more bands. My sense is that most bands create music that for one reason or another never make it onto an album or EP, maybe because it diverges from the musical style that identifies the band or perhaps because it doesn’t fit within the concept or arrangement of music on a larger release. But if the band is nevertheless satisfied with the music, giving it away on Bandcamp (or some other platform) could benefit fans as well as giving the band an added vehicle for ongoing creative expression.
The three songs on The Dirt of Ages provide a good example of how this concept can be used. None of the three songs is quite like any of the others. This isn’t terribly surprising, because Satyros have already proven with Riven that they enjoy creating stylistically diverse music. Even so, The Dirt of Ages represents some genre dabbling that I haven’t heard from the band before, and it’s damned cool.
“Cursed By Satyros” is a lo-fi, head-nodding, black ‘n’ roll romp. Icy, but bouncy, with a sweet, echoing solo in the mix.
“Reflection of Mine” is a slow, atmospheric piece, blending dreamlike synthesizer melody, a simple but catchy drum line, and paint-stripping banshee shrieks. Very cool.
“The Sons of Morning” takes yet another turn, delivering a dynamic swath of melodic black metal that’s both groovy and searing, with a bit of folk flavor.
To get the free download of The Dirt of Ages, jump to the Satyros Bandcamp page via this link, and if you happen to get there at a time when the monthly downloads have exceeded Satyros’ allotment, the band have also made the EP (in high quality mp3 format) available through Dropbox (as they have with their other releases). You can get those download links from this page.
And if you dig the music, go give Satyros some Facebook like at this location.
By the way, congratulations to Satyros on their 7th anniversary, with best wishes for many more anniversaries to come.
Here’s a music video that Satyros made some time ago for “Cursed By Satyros”, and after that is the Bandcamp player with all three songs.