Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 8/1/2007
posted on 2/2008 By:
Satriarch = Satan + Patriarch
Released in 2007, Satriarch's debut EP (or demo?), didn't really generate a whirlwind of interest. Of course, small releases with little distribution don't often make waves but it's actually kind of disappointing no one seemed to pick up on Satriarch as this L.A. band has some good moments to offer
The band plays "symphonic black metal" or so I've been told and, as usual, with bands of this style, the only thing symphonic about the sound is an over reliance on keyboards, often to the detriment of the music. The band is infinitely heavier than a lot of other bands playing similar styles, for example the band lists Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir in their influences, yet Satriarch are much heavier; centered around more traditionally oriented riffs, sometimes escaping into death metal areas, yet there is no real reliance on blast beats or typical "extreme" hallmarks either. I can certainly hear traces of bands like Dissection and sometimes, even a simpler, black metal sounding Kataklysm (the main riff of second track, "Exiled into Oblivion").
While sticking to a short release of only four songs, it's hard not to believe this isn't some of the band's better material. Each song has at least one moment worth checking out and, especially in the case of "Exiled Into Oblivion" and "Divine Retribution" you have some standout material. Both of the aforementioned songs are exceptionally heavy; vocalist/bassist Rachel Centeno steps into a big role, serving up screams and growls, giving the songs a raging focal point while the rest of the band serves up good doses of heavy riffing and adequate drum work. Some of the melodies and leads scattered throughout definitely work well to accent things and create some nice dynamics.
The main sticking point for Satriarch though is the use of keyboards. It's tuning out the keyboards that has made this release much more enjoyable for me than it was on the initial listen. More often than not the keyboards are a detriment, sometimes accenting the guitars or taking a lead role while almost always trying to drown out the guitar work. The keyboard work simply sounds too "happy" and too light to fit with the heavier approach the band seems to be striving for in their music. If they need to be there, they should be pushed into the background and left for atmospheric charm, if not, I would most definitely like to see the band move on keyboardless… though it is doubtful as keyboard player, Esteban Garza seems to be the band's founding member.
This is definitely a band that with some tweaking could be, at least, better than average. This EP would be a solid start for any band and it's obvious that Satriarch are a band to watch for the future.
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