Satyress – Dark Fortunes

Rating

A female-fronted doom band from Portland… that’s not Witch Mountain? Do tell! The aforementioned set the bar pretty high pretty high with their comeback effort South of Salem, pushing the vocal stylings of Uta Plotkin to the forefront and putting Rip City on the map as a place whose doom scene had much more to offer than just YOB. (Not that there’s anything wrong with YOB by any means!) Who knows, they might even have inspired Satyress, which formed last year and released their debut album just last month. Mind you, Witch Mountain this is not…

“Possession” kicks off this six-track, half-hour effort with some crunchy doom riffage and airy vocals that recall the occult rock of The Devil’s Blood or even San Fran’s Castle. Nice change of pace around the three-quarter mark, picking things up into galloping trad-metal territory. So far, so good. But second track “Esta Noche” certainly recalls Witch Mountain in its amplified soul/blues metal. A decent tune in its own right, again picking up the pace to something a little less doomy for the chorus… but you can’t help but hear the similarities, or the shortcomings. They may be more “metal,” but they’re also less emotive, especially in the vocal department.

I also find it interesting that there’s a song called “Soma” on here, being that it was the name of female-fronted Virginia doom outfit Windhand’s breakout effort from last year. But you can’t really compare Satyress to Windhand; they’re more like Castle or Royal Thunder or Uzala or Witch Mountain or…

Ah, there’s the rub. The subgenre’s become so saturated with female-fronted, occult-leaning bands of late that it’s become awfully hard to stand out. And while Dark Fortunes is certainly worth another listen, it just doesn’t do that for me.

Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

6.5 Rating