Windhand & Satan’s Satyrs Split Review

Band: Windhand/Satan’s Satyrs
Album: Split
Label: Relapse Records
Genre: Doom and Metal/Punk
Country: USA
Release Date: 16 February, 2018

Two bands from Virginia, both on the same label, each with differing sounds and styles, come together to put out a little split EP full of goodness and plenty of rock. There’s something here for everyone to enjoy.

Windhand is a very doom band, with lots of fuzz and thump and atmosphere. You can close your eyes and see witches cavorting in the deep forests, dancing skyclad around a blazing bonfire to the music of Windhand. On this record they bring us the best of what they have to offer, and what they offer is sensual and dark.

“Old Evil” begins with a fuzzy riff, and you can just feel that amp warming up as the song tumbles forward, kicking in, putting you in the right frame of mind for the stoner groove that’s coming your way. This one moves like a giant, lumbering and heavy. Vocalist Dorthia Cottrell pipes in with that enchanting, siren sound that both seduces and sends shivers down your spine. Her vocals are always kind of buried in the mix, and this works, adding a layer of fog and mystery to the sound. You can feel the Devil himself bobbing his head to this one, throwing up the horns and smiling softly.

“Three Sisters” is next and it’s an epic, opening with a Black Sabbath kind of bass line and sliding into a crushing, slow groove. It drops down a bit, allowing Dorthia to slither into your mind with her haunting vocals. This is another seductive song, filled with darkness and black promise, and at almost fourteen minutes long, it has heft and power. This is Windhand at their finest, I think.

Satan’s Satyrs are a band that kind of snarls and rocks, an almost direct contrast to Windhand. They are a band that I’ve flirted with really liking and also finding annoying. There’s something about the vocals of Claythanas that always sort of irritated me. But for some reason, I guess I’ve warmed to them, because these three songs absolutely blew me away.

“Alucard AD 2018” trips from the speakers, all trebly and rocking. It erupts in stark defiance of the Windhand sound, rapidly ripping out riff after riff, rumbling and steamrolling its way along. The vocals remind me of prime 70’s garage, think the Runaways mixed with some Lemmy and you have the right idea. This one has a nice cruise to it, smooth and dirty at the same time.

“Succubus” follows in fine form, rocking from opening tip to finishing riff. This one pulls back a bit, giving a little more crunch rather than speed, but it is by no means less rocking. The groove in this one is both pleasant and gritty.

“Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby” is a great cover of an old Jimmy Reed blues song, Satan’s Satyrs putting their own twist on the song, punking it up but still keeping it firmly in the land of the blues. They add speed and sneer and it’s a nice little way to wrap up the album, with some fun and swing.

What you’ve got here is a great combo split of two bands with differing, but complimentary sounds. Windhand brings heft and groove and dark enchantment, while Satan’s Satyrs wallop you with speed and a punkish attitude. One evokes the old world, the woods and the rolling hills, the other grimy city streets and honking traffic. And yet, together it works. If you don’t know either band, this is an excellent introduction, and if you already love them, you’re going to find more to dig here.

Rating: 9/10

1. Windhand – Old Evil
2. Windhand – Three Sisters
3. Satan’s Satyrs – Alucard AD 2018
4. Satan’s Satyrs – Succubus
5. Satan’s Satyrs – Ain’t That Lovin’ You, Baby

Total Playing Time: 31:177

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