I became familiar with Satta through IG as I follow a lot of dark artists suitable for band merch, Satta however has a classical approach to the style that outshines the rabble of common assets and lazy work ethic. His art is not just dark by subject, it embodies it fully, from conception to technique to completion. It’s a higher brow darkness. I also became familiar with the aussie OSDM band Aeon’s Abyss through instagram, who ended up commissioning Satta for their upcoming album Impenitent (Nov 1), a fortunate pairing sharing similar classic metal values. Here is an interview with the artist Satta in which we discuss influences, the upcoming album and living as an artist.
Despite weed being illegal here (QLD), we sure know how to do some solid stoner rock and stoner doom, here and across the the rest of the country. Obviously South Australia is a bit ahead of the curb but those cunts have a bit more of a relax than we do, what I can I say. The Brisbane strain is a bit angrier and a bit grungier.
I had an epiphany during the opening track, “Archaic Vision Of Despair”, that death doom is supposed to be a combination of death metal into doom metal but in reality it’s mostly death growls over doom instrumentals. Well in this case the instrumentation brings a strong sense of death riffery but with a sludgy twist. It feels old school, it reminds me of some solid shit out of the late 90s and early 00s of death doomdom. Like all good music, this sounds like descending into the mouth of madness. Well, madness is a mixed bag.
As The Kingdom Drowns is a chewy treat that endures multiple listens well. There’s plenty of brutality but there’s also room for more elaborate and melodic guitar work. The vocals also reduce intensity at times to accommodate them without ever tipping into cleans. There’s something to be said about a stalwart mid range vocalist in the current scene where the emphasis is placed on lows and highs. The result is a series of balanced and flexible songs, sometimes creating an anthem and other times dueling with futuristic licks.
The standout track for me is “Beyond The Black”, the feminine guest vocals bring an epic feel to the song with the peak feeling almost like a musical number about to break out between the metal layers. It’s very big. Jason (Psycroptic’s vocalist) get’s a lot higher than usual here as well with similarities to Mastodon and new Cattle Decapitation with their “clean but not clean” style. It follows through to the calmer opening of “Upon These Stones” nicely. Another solid track that reminds me a lot of Opeth which is never a bad thing. It’s high quality stuff and the fact that it can be compared to these titan’s of industry is telling.
ACKOD is a very unique project that somehow exists between the void of minimalism and the bravado of extreme metal – not so surprisingly, out of California (partly), recorded at . It’s complex and brooding. It’s also likely to challenge a lot of people whose idea of music is more neatly packaged and familiar. Personally I find it quite exciting because it’s a part of a sound that doesn’t belong to a time in music but rather one that pops up here and there throughout it’s history like a rare breed. Stuff like Maudlin Of The Well if anyone can remember an underrated project from so long ago. ACKOD have come to 2019 with two releases and two more on the way. All of these releases are following the same story thread started with their first release in 2015, Vol. I: Enculturation and then Vol. II: Organic Emotions in 2016.
These two 2019 albums in particular are quite special, not only as a return for the project but also their collaboration with artist ma-ko (@drivemeawaytroubledheart) on both album covers, really elevating the presentation of the project. ma-ko’s art has been on my feed for some time, I completely adore their style which to me seems very inspired by video game fantasy, I have a feeling these covers had some inspiration from Hyper Light Drifter but their other work on IG speaks to older JRPG’s with a beautiful and traditional aesthetic. The lyrics seem to come from the same place as the art, perhaps there was synergy there. The stories resemble the volatile societies, history and politics of such fictional places. So let’s get into these two albums and keep an eye out for the third.