Technical black metal composed by humans, played by physical robots. In 2018 Satyra was diagnosed with Lyme disease and quickly became too disabled to play instruments anymore. Instead of giving up, they spent the next two years slowly building robots to play instruments for them. The result is Electromancy, the robot metal band. Guitars and drums are played by Satyra’s own DIY robotic designs; their bandmates are manikins, cut up into LED fuelled light shows.
In April 2020, Electromancy released their debut EP Robot Black Metal. A unique listen, it showed some serious promise and you can read our full review here. Now they return with their debut album Technopagan. Out on January 14th, 2022 via Metal Assault Records.
As we said in our review of the 2020 EP, Robot Black Metal, The initial draw of Electromancy is the robotic bandmates of Satyra. The combination of futuristic ideas and talent turned into something undeniably unique. Something with an electronica edge but rooted in the sound of technical black metal.
Take this fascinating sound and pair it with Electromancy’s lyrical themes. Which largely revolve around Satyra’s struggle with physical disabilities. The uncertainty of their lifespan with chronic illness, and the spiritual experiences brought on from facing human fragility & mortality so directly.
The album is made up of short mechanical drum and guitar bursts aptly called ‘Mechanical Chatter’ and lengthier, extensive black-infused disorder. Where sharp technicality meets harsh austerity and an impressive array of vocalisation and instrumentation. It’s these tracks that create the environment with the short mechanical chatter tracks being the bridge between them. It flows nicely even if a lot of the music is jarring and uncomfortable to listen too.
That is kind of the point though. The unique setup gives it an industrial feel without it actually sounding industrial. You are constantly reminded that you’re hearing robots play but not to the point where it’s all you hear. Or that it is distracting and overly ‘electronic’. Hell, if you didn’t know, you’d likely just think you were listening too a rawer, older-school style of black metal.
The biggest compliment we can give Technopagan is that you’ve not heard anything quite like this. It’s not going to appeal to everyone, that was the case with the previous EP and is still the case here, but it has such an exceptional flavour that everyone should give it a go at least once.
Electromancy – Technopagan Full Track Listing:
1. Mechanical Chatter (YCLF)
2. The Spark
3. Mechanical Chatter (tS)
5. Mechanical Chatter (tS II)
6. Soot and Sulfur
8. Mechanical Chatter (WP)
9. Warpaint / Makeup
10. Mechanical Chatter (MBiFM)
11. You Cannot Live Forever
12. My Body is Failing Me
Electromancy - Technopagan (Metal Assault Records)
The Final Score - 7/10