Satarial – ‘Blessed Brigit’

Satarial’s history goes back to 1989, when, as A.M.S.G., they aimed to create music similar to that of Bathory, Hellhammer, and Venom. Gigs were played in underground venues and after discovery by the USSR court, both the band and their name and music were subsequently banned. Following their initial ’89 demo, the band were inactive from 1990-1992, till reuniting, at that point and changing their name to Satarial. The main musical emphasis was now black metal, with mediaeval influence, drawn from childhood inspiration. Many years of state persecution followed, owing to the band’s musical influences, contents of their performances etc. This persecution became so extreme as to imitate the level of extremity evident within their music and beyond. Far from destroying the spirit of the music, it was actually strengthened and despite many attempts to block the sale, promotion and performances, the band continued on, making more music, through various line-ups and musical experimentation, before eventually reverting back to the initial sounds and topics/themes of witchcraft and mysticism. Satarial’s whole history has been a fight for freedoms, both of thought and of expression, culminating in the 2016 release of ‘Blessed Brigit’, along with a video, entitled ‘Manifest Of Paganism’, the first track on the album. ‘BB’ is a co-release with Death Portal Studio, USA, Symbol Of Domination Prod.

‘BB’ is centred around Celtic paganism and mysticism. Combining music and natural sounds, it aims to elevate human consciousness to alternative thought forms. The lyrics are based on mystical formulas and magical spells. It’s multilingual, embracing black metal, folk and industrial, with a strong emphasis on medieval and classical music. It was recorded using mediaeval instruments, in combination with standard metal music recording tools. The album was recorded live, in as natural an atmosphere as possible, to capture the feeling and expression of extreme metal. It was mixed and mastered using an analogue system, at Jeffromixesyou Studio, in America. Made by Dark Crusader.

Manifest Of Paganism – Skull-crushing intro of epic intensity. Filled to the rafters with a heaviness akin to what I can only describe as concrete boots. The ritual aspects definitely come to life, to a fairly frightening degree, given the imaginary outcomes of the sounds used. Alternating, of course, with far less scary and more intriguing gentle elements, played out for just long enough to whet the appetite for more. Mediaeval effects redolent of castles and fortresses, bringing a lighter side to things, reassuring for the sensitives amongst us, but be warned, you don’t want to listen to the dark aspects before bed.

Horned God (The Charge Of The God) – Opening with a similar heaviness, this time, creating visions of Viking Gladiators, chasing you down with dumbbells, which they’re threatening to drop on your head and purposely dropping on the ground every few minutes, to remind you. (Yes, music does evoke some weird imagery for me). Though, this time, the sound of approaching steel is interspersed with lilting feminine vocals, offering consistent folky rhythms, which somehow, works to allay, or at least, delay the fears of encroaching death. (The fear! I’m getting the fear!) Fans of ‘Withnail and I’, unite.

Chaos – Shifting tack now, to a screamingly loud chase like thudding rhythm, again, interwoven with gentler female vocals, which briefly dilutes the fear effect, but make no mistake, the overall feel is just as effective. Shorter than the last, but likely to stay in your memory, all the same. An inspired and truly unique sound combination, so rare as to be unlikely to hear elsewhere.

Yarns Of Fate – Charging in there, with the zeal of a huntsman, on a mission to kill. Extreme metal explosion, with an almost hypnotic beat and chorus of pure ritual shamanism. Making inventive use of the mystical tools at their disposal and merging them with acute extremity, the emergent terror and spiritual surrender and adventure is quite some achievement.

Formation Of The Moon – Slight change of direction here, initially, almost like a breeze in the opposite direction on the compass point. A clear sense of feminine strength used to maximum effect, vocally speaking. Choral sounds interweave between the female archetype and the yin and yang male hunter gatherer, consistently present throughout. A real tangible sense of each power element being used for its intended purpose, in an almost totemic context. Again, it works.

Blessed Brigit – Mediaeval banquets and forces abound, as the sounds conjure the strength of the representative ages. There’s a seductive and fascinating appeal to the musical influences and instruments employed, conjuring powerful atmospherics, verging on palpable accessibility. The masculine depth of that voice is quite stunning, blending nicely with the softness and fey-like quality of the feminine. An audio-visual feast for the senses, of a celebration of musical works through the ages.

Overall – A mind opening, spiritual journey, through the possibilities of arcane metal, when taken to extreme edges, incorporating opposing influences and elements and releasing all preconceptions and expectations. I get what they’re trying to do here and I like it, not just because it’s novel, but because it’s real, profound and sustainable, as it’s truly authentic and stands out as one of a kind – a genuine rare breed.

9/10 *********

For fans of Falagar, Trivax, Pentagram, Eluvitie, Deathbringer, Helloween and all forms of extreme, black, death and gothic metal, folk, mediaeval, baroque and fantasy metal.

http://www.metal-archives.com/

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