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Satyrus – Rites

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 30 July 2021, 11:22 AM

SATYRUS is an Italian doom metal band who formed in 2016; “Rites,” is their full length debut album. A quick google search tells me the heaviest objects in the universe are black holes and neutron stars.  “SATYRUS’ “Rites,” album should be added to that list too.  At first listen, this may seem like yet another doom album that you have heard before.  And you have, let’s not lie.

It checks off all the boxes of what makes doom so great:  heavy riffs, thick bass, and drums that hold that foundation.  However, believe it or not, bands trying to reinvent the wheel all the time can get old.  There is something to be admired for a band who knows who they are and what they want to do.  SATYRUS understands this so they zero in on all things doom and absolutely nail it.

The blood, sweat and tears that went into “Rites” can be heard from the first note to the last—and the entire time the band will stretch your mind with psychedelics then crush it. The fuzz off the distortion alone has more sonic density than most bands.  While listening to this in my car, there were times that I thought my speakers were blown out—the band just deals in excess.  This may or may not be a bad thing depending on your tastes and perspectives but it is impressive, regardless.

Much of this black hole song is from bassist Freddy and guitarist Frankie trying to decide who can play heavier.  It is a competition that results in a winner for the listener—this album is thick with sick ass riffs. But thankfully they also inject quite a bit of variety into the mix as well. There are plenty of moments with long build ups where they up the psychedelic elements for some mind mending moments.

The first few minutes of the opening track, “Black Satyrus,” is one such moment.  The guitar notes bend around the bass and reverberate creepy, spacey vibes.  It is all accented by Morg, who knows exactly where his drums to be in relation to the song. Around the five minute mark, vocalist Gianni finally makes his appearance.  His voice has a classic meta/doom vibe too it.  Clean but with a lot of energy and boisterous attitude behind it. At the 7:08 mark, the band hits stride with a seemingly never ending cadence of rhythm that crashing against the skeleton of the song. It is in these moments where the band becomes truly powerful, wrapping its doom tendrils around me and never letting go.

Shovel,” is a great name because it hits like being, well, smacked in the back of the head with a shovel.  The riffs have a ton of groove in them, as does the bass. This song has a more immediate impact than the previous ones.  There are a few well placed solos in this one that are biting and just cut through the meat of the song.  The overall rhythm is infectious and found myself drawn to this track a lot—everything just comes together.

Swirl,” starts with some annoying sound bites but, thankfully, they don’t last long and the rest of the song is a banger.  The guitars/bass drop with the force of a hammer but this song is melodic in places, a contrast to the deep bass. The vocals indeed swirl around the mix, which is heavy on the sludge side of doom much of the time.  Towards the tracks end, a blazing solo rips it to pieces and I appreciate that because doom sometimes tends to shy from solos.

The bass on “Stigma,” is basically a black hole - massive and inescapable.  Gianni’s vocals are exciting and he rides smoothly along the rhythm while Morg continuously compliments it with his own brand of destruction. I love the middle portion of the song as it so dark and nearly palpable in its thickness.  The tempo change after the seven minute mark is a nice touch too and finish the song in style.

The final track, “Trailblazer,” is everything I want in a doom metal song.  Slow grinding, perpetual glacier like movement, riffs for days, and a bass/drum section that just won’t stop.  The solos once again throw in some additional flavor to proceedings, drifting in and out with ease.  The vocal harmonies are good too, lending the song a somewhat disturbing feel.  Around the six minute mark, a slow galloping march hits and it is wonderful, fitting so well into the song.

For a debut album, this is some high quality metric ton heavier than the sun doom metal. SATYRUS pulled out all the stops and focused to everything that makes doom the best music.  Highly recommended.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Black Satyrus
2. Shovel
3. Swirl
4. Stigma
5. Trailblazer
Freddy Fish – Bass
Frankie Pizzimenti – Guitars
Gianni Passafiume – Vocals
Morg - Drums
Record Label: Argonauta Records


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