Formed in Richmond, Virginia in 2008, Windhand are one of modern doom's stalwart acts, having produced three solid studio albums since their inception. Most serious doom metal aficionados should have heard of Windhand by now, but they may not have heard of Satan's Satyrs. Also hailing from Virginia USA, Satan's Satyrs formed in 2009 and have produced a similar amount of E.Ps and full-lengths as Windhand, so here we have two comparable bands operating in the same scene producing this split effort. Although from the same state of the US and having been around for a similar length of time, Windhand and Satan's Satyrs do not share too much of a sonic soundscape.
Windhand's modus operandi is thrumming guitars, glacially slow rhythms and lumbering drums all topped off with Dorthia Cottrell's ethereal and haunting vocals. Satan's Satyrs, on the other hand, are more of a traditional red-blooded rock n' roll outfit, complete with midrange tempo, adrenaline-fuelled vocals and shrill guitar solos. Not quite chalk and cheese, but not likely bedfellows either. That being said, the two bands complement each other quite nicely on this split E.P. What is that they say about opposites attracting?
As soon as the first track on the E.P, “Old Evil” begins, it's clear we're in familiar territory with Windhand – the slow riffs, the menacing tones, Cottrell's doomy vocal performance. Add this E.P to Windhand's reputable back catalogue of decent doom metal efforts. We only get one more track from Windhand here, “Three Sisters”, and it's an ominous fourteen minute epic (actually pretty average length by doom metal proportions) that takes the pace right down and closes this half of the E.P off nicely before Satan's Satyrs start up the engine and put it straight into full-throttle for their track “Alucard AD 2018” (the title's lost on me too). This track wastes no time in hitting us straight in the face with rollicking guitars, widdly solos and rock n' roll vibes.
Satan's Satyrs might present three tracks to Windhand's two on this E.P, but in sheer running time, Windhand take up the bulk of this record.
It's not a bad E.P at all, and well worth picking up if you are an established Windhand fan looking to complete your collection, or if you're looking to discover something new with Satan's Satyrs. The two bands are certainly an odd pairing, but at their heart they're both great rock acts and this E.P should provide pleasant listening to lovers of all things guitar-based. Whether it's Windhand's “Old Evil” that grabs you or Satan's Satyrs' “Succubus”, it's true what they say – the devil has all the best tunes.