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Album Reviews : Satoria – Where Loyalties Lie

By on July 19, 2010

Adelaide’s Satoria really are a mixture, with their general sound wandering back and forth between melodic death metal and the various –core genres (with the vocals in particular leaning towards the latter, which might be too much for many metal fans), but with a strong use of symphonic keys and even some solos and speedier riffs more reminiscent of the heavier end of power metal. The variety of influences is well organised though with a very consistent sound throughout, but with unexpected deviations neatly blended in here and there.

Admittedly, most of that is thanks to the keyboards. They’re the ultimate factor boosting this band above being just an ordinary modern metal band. From start to finish, they are used impeccably to give each track a completely different mood than it would without them; alternating between the lead instrument and atmospheric backing. There are times where it’s got that holy, epic feel of power metal, times where it’s going for a more electronic post-hardcore sound, and times when it heads for a more classically influenced feel, ala Fleshgod Apocalypse. More often than not, you’ll find all of those variations within each individual track.

Now I’m not saying that the other instruments are completely lacking. There are some great solos and riffs throughout the 53 minute album, and some well-used acoustic guitars. The drums are often nice and varied, constantly changing and flowing with the rest of the music rather than just creating a solid backing behind everything else. But it’s hard to imagine the music having any real depth or feel without those keys.

As far as the highlight goes, “Rains Ablaze” grabbed me on first listen and is still easily my choice. There is some truly creative writing involved, with little nuances creating a really interesting track, and a main keyboard melody that’s utterly unforgettable. “Brother of War” sounds huge with its slower pace thickened nicely by a generally epic atmosphere. There are a couple of instrumental interludes that aren’t anything great on their own, but work well when listening to the whole album, and the 11 minute title track that closes the album certainly isn’t half bad either.

‘Where Loyalties Lie’ is an interesting album where even the blandest sections are boosted by those keyboards (which I clearly haven’t mentioned enough already), and one which is likely to have an audience of half metalheads and half hardcore kiddies. Whichever you are, give this a shot. 7/10

Band: Satoria
Album: Where Loyalties Lie
Year: 2010
Genre: Melodic death metal
Origin: Adelaide, Australia
Label: Independent
http://www.myspace.com/satoria

Tracklisting:
1. Burrows
2. Rains Ablaze <- Reviewers choice
3. At the Feet of Giants
4. Insurrection
5. Brother War
6. Flock
7. Godspeed
8. Slumbers
9. Where Loyalties Lie

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.