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Satyrian: Eternitas
Lion Music (2006) www.lionmusic.com
Satyrian is an international gothic rock band - of which most of the members live in The Netherlands - combining dark atmospheric lyrics with wave, rock, classical orchestration, piano and heavy guitars. Satyrian is the continuation of gothic rock act Danse Macabre, which released the album ‘Eva’ in 2001. The ensemble consists of composer, programmer and guitarist Jan Yrlund (Danse Macabre, Imperia, ex-Lacrimosa, ex-Ancient Rites), drummer/percussionist Merijn Mol (Danse Macabre, The Dreamside) and bassist Milos Marisevic (Danse Macabre). Producer Oliver Philips (Everon) is responsible for the piano parts, orchestral arrangements, clean male vocals and some guitar parts on ‘Eternitas’. In 2002, Satyrian invited female vocalists Kemi Vita (The Dreamside, The Bloodline) and Judith Stüber (Everon, Danse Macabre) as guest members, as well as male vocalist Roman Schoensee (The Dreamside, The Bloodline). Since there was a good chemistry between the above individuals, the guest-members turned into permanent members of the band.

It took quite a while before I was able to appreciate ‘Eternitas’. At first it sounded pretty superficial to me, but after a couple of spins I am largely positive about this album. Satyrian succeeded in creating a characteristic, varying and fairly original gothic rock sound. I like the ‘theatrical’ atmosphere of it. I also, however, hear some rather predictable songs like ‘Eternitas’ [1], ‘My legacy’ [4] and ‘Haunted’ [10], which display some pretty corny refrains in my ears. Highlights are ‘Feel the rush’ [3], ‘The dark gift’ [5], ‘Sacred lies’ [6] and especially ‘This dream’ [11]. The latter song offers some splendid piano accompaniment and great melodies. Also the folky duet ‘Bridge of death’ [7] is worth mentioning, featuring a nice combination of male and female vocals, which reminds me of the Irish folk combo Cruachan.

A moot point of this album may be the female vocals. Judith Stüber has a pleasantly warm voice, but vocalist Kemi Vita - who has a more prominent role on the album - has a rather characteristic voice, which may not appeal to everyone. Her voice isn’t extraordinary beautiful in my opinion, though I like it because of the ‘passion’ and power Kemi expresses with it.

Conclusion: I hear a solid, diverse, theatrical gothic rock album, offering beautiful and creative passages, but also some superficial moments. All in all - while Danse Macabre’s ‘Eva’ didn’t do it for me - I am pleased with ‘Eternitas’. Check it out!

Reviewed by Thijs on Sunday 7 May 2006.

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