The country is an approximation, as this is truly an international band. SATYRIAN’s members come from all over the place—there are three Germans, two Netherlanders, a Serb and a Finn. More importantly, they come from the ashes of another band, DANSE MACABRE. If I have the story right, pieced together from the official site and fan sites, the change came when the band had a falling out with DANSE MACABRE founder Gunther Theys, kicked him out and changed the name to SATYRIAN and incorporated some of the guest musicians into the nascent band. So SATYRIAN was technically born in 2004, but its roots go back to 1995.
Beyond that, SATYRIAN is quite an amalgamation. On guitars and as the composer we have Jan “Örrki” Yrlund (LACRIMOSA, DELAIN, IMPERIA), bass by Milos Marisevic, drums and percussions provided by Merijn Mol (DANSE MACABRE, THE DREAMSIDE) and then we have vocals. Okay. *deep breath* Kemi Vita (THE DREAMSIDE) and Judith “Ciara” Stüber (EVERON, guest appearances with ANCIENT RITES and DARK AT DAWN) provide the female vocals, while growls come from Roman Schönsee (PYOGENESIS, SILKE BISCHOFF, 18SUMMERS) and Oliver Phillips (EVERON) contributes both clean vocals male vocals, guitar and piano.
Okay, enough about the band, how about their sound? SATYRIAN’s playing a fairly accessible Gothic Metal, perhaps somewhere between SIRENIA (mostly because of Phillips’ incredible resemblance to Jan Kenneth Barkved), DREAMS OF SANITY, SEASON’S END and more recent AFTER FOREVER. The songs, laden with keyboards and piano, should quickly find acceptance in the border the popular and underground scenes. Some of the songs have beats one can dance to, in that appropriately Goth way.
Also appropriate for the style, the female singers are at the forefront of the music and of the promotional photography. They both have quality voices, not of the operatic or glass-shattering soprano variety, but expressive and suited for the music. Perhaps a little two suited—had I not read some band info before listening to the CD, I would have been unaware that there even were two female vocalists. It’s both a case of Kemi and Ciara sounding very similar—though I’m sure if I saw the promotional video it’d help—and the fact that the music just doesn’t explore the possibilities of two vocalists. Phillips and Schönsee are definitely in the background here, though they make their presence known in such songs as “This Dream,” where they prove that they are worth our attention and capable of keeping it. If only they’d do something that I could tell the women apart.
As befitting the style, the instruments aren’t the focus and you won’t hear many solos. But showing off technical chops isn’t what this CD’s here for, it’s to give us some enjoyable, if disposable, Gothic Metal/Rock. On that front it succeeds. “Bridge Of Death” is really the only song that breaks the style, instead presenting an evil folk dance. “Eternitas” won’t leave a lasting impression, but it’s good for what it is—a quick fix of moroseness without the sorrow and to which you can dance. (Online April 25, 2006)