Satori - The Woods

Posted: Sat, Sep 2, 2023
Last updated: Sat, Sep 9, 2023

Satori - The Woods

industrial, noise, dark ambient, power electronics

My first post in fuck knows how long! I really want to get somewhat back to posting regularly, me updating me gig list every couple of months is just not it. So much to do and so little time.

Anyway, I wanted to post about this CD. In short: incredible. Pick it up immediately.

I had the immense pleasure of seeing Satori perform at the stunning Dark Alchemy V in Bristol last weekend, in a gorgeous old church named Church of St Thomas the Martyr. I’ll not talk too much about that - I’ll save it for the gig review when I get around to writing that (read: never at this rate…). His set was stunning, very oppressive and the set had you in its unyielding grip, demanding that you pay attention and frankly that you had no choice. I picked up a CD there - this lil one, ‘The Woods’, that would later be released by Cold Spring on September 8th. You can pick up a copy (CD/digital) via Cold Spring’s Bandcamp.

This one takes you on a real journey, starting off with A Stopped Clock, as if you’re being forcefully ushered towards an isolated cabin in a forest where the sounds of chainsaws and other machinery echo through the trees. Whispers and screams let you know that whatever the fuck is going on in there, you’ll not be leaving there alive.

Restrict follows, and was one of me favourites from Dave’s set. He bellows in bursts, separated by walls of noise, and he each time he yells his voice grows ever more distorted as the terror begins to settle in and machinery begins to whirl. It appears a ritual is taking place here as The Summoning reveals someone speaking from texts of unknown origin. The intermittent walls of sound grow in intensity and frequency. Like saws against flesh and bone, Caustic rips at your skin, the ritual has been complete and your body will now be cut limb from limb. The vocals are sharper, closer this time. “Something’s wrong! Something’s wrong!" echoes throughout at various distances and intensities. Black Serpent’s Kiss is a relentless, mostly instrumental track, giving the feeling of attempting to escape your impending doom.

The calm, soft vocals that open Pressing Down are deeply unsettling as the speaker lays out what pain they wish to make you feel. The spinning and sputtering of saws and blades grows ever louder throughout the album, closing in on you as you realise there really is no escape. “Body and blood! Body and blood!" bellows throughout as saws attempt to cut through bone, as this cabin reveals itself to be a slaughterhouse where countless unknown horrors have taken place.

What sounds like hymns in a church give the briefest moment of respite as Abuser begins, where the sounds of scraping metal that follow sound almost ethereal and hallucinatory yet deeply haunting. The vocals are slushy and hard to deciper in the closing track You Can’t Breathe, as it feels like you’re being held underwater, or you struggle to pick out words as you lose consciousness. Drums pick up the pace as it closes with ferocity.

To try and summarise, I’ve had dreams in the past where my house has been broken into in the night. I try to run, but my legs won’t move, as if I’m sinking in quicksand. I try to shout, my vocal chords do not work. My chest is tight and fear has my heart in an iron grip. This album encapsulates that sense of terror even though its setting is vastly different. This album feels like a horror soundtrack, the rhythm and pacing has been carefully orchestrated and there is a clear story being painted. Some quick maths puts this at just under 44 minutes, if you have an hour to set aside I would wholeheartely recommend giving this a listen. I really, really enjoyed this one and I do hope I can see Satori perform again some time.

Favourite track: Body & Blood