Midgard – “We are the Destroyer”, installment 4 – “Satellite”

Midgard - Satellite album cover

Today’s post will take us to much more recent history. Before “We are the Destroyer”, there was…

Satellite

Ah, “Satellite”. This album was many years in the making, and almost did not happen several times over. It represents many things for us – rebirth of a band, pushing forward creatively, friendships, shows, and good times all around. While we released “Satellite” at the tail end of 2012, the roots of it go much, much deeper.

By 2006, I was unsure if Midgard would ever continue. The core band lineup was no longer together; the very idea of Midgard was starting to sound like a pipe dream. Yes, the songwriting process continued, but by that point, it seemed that there was no real chance to put the band back together, or to release any of those songs with a proper lineup recording them. Then, fate intervened.

In 2009, me and Ryan (drums) started to play together in a heavy/power metal band Oblivion’s Curse. It was a fresh start, something different, and, at first, a lot of fun. We played several shows, wrote some new music, and found out that we got along marvelously both as friends and as musicians. Though we knew each other since “Within the Darkness” era, our musical paths had never crossed until then – and when they did, we found out that we clicked on musical and personal level. Already by that point I started having thoughts about recording some of the material I had laying around, and releasing it as a new Midgard album, if only to get some form of closure (and because the songs sounded like Midgard songs, a worthy follow-up from the style set forth on “Within the Darkness”). When Oblivion’s Curse went its separate ways in 2011, me and Ryan stayed in touch, and decided to give Midgard another go. Not long thereafter, Travis (lead guitar) joined, and after a false start with a different bass player, we welcomed Jenn (bass) into the band. This is still the band’s lineup at this time, and is the longest-lasting lineup we ever had, with over three years together at the time of this writing.

Eight out of ten “Satellite” songs were written long before the band reformed, while the remaining two (the title track and “As the Phoenix Falls”) were actually played a few times at Oblivion’s Curse practices when me and Ryan spent a few minutes jamming. We felt that it was important to make an album that made a statement of who we were as people and as musicians at that point in time, and that condensed everything that made Midgard unique in one package. As a result, “Satellite” has pretty much every element we built in: thrash-influenced riffing in the title track and “Hellfire”; acoustic guitars combined with doom-death feel of “Absolute Zero Heart”; power and heavy metal injections on “Waves of Acheron”; melodic metal influences surrounding the death metal core on “Empire”, “Oracle”, and “If”; modern metal touches on “Until the Sirens Call”; and more traditional melodeath of “As the Phoenix Falls” and “Winter Assault”.

In retrospect, we made one mistake with “Satellite” when we decided to record it ourselves rather than go into a studio and have a professional take care of all aspects of the recording process. While the result gave it somewhat of an old-school feel, not too dissimilar from very early Gothenburg sound, the sound could have been better. We learned our lesson for the next Midgard release, but for now, “Satellite” stands as a testament of the band’s full spectrum, all elements of our songwriting combined into one package. Despite perhaps some shortcomings on the side of recording quality, we are very proud of the material, and think that it is a good representation of where we were as a band, a great starting point on our renewed journey. As a side note, we had the album remixed during the recording sessions for “We are the Destroyer”; while the remix does not supplant the original version, it provides an alternate look at some songs. If it sounds interesting, why not give “Satellite” a listen, and download your copy from BandCamp, or check it out on Spotify:

https://midgard.bandcamp.com/album/satellite (original version)

https://midgard.bandcamp.com/album/satellite-remix (remixed version)

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