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Ever since its formation in 2000, Colorado, USA’s Midgard has been perfecting its unique brand of melodic death metal. Drawing from influences from both sides of the Atlantic, Midgard’s music is heavy, melodic, dark, and haunting, incorporating elements of power and doom metal over the core of driving rhythms and dual vocal styles – the approach that Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles magazine called “pure extreme seduction” while featuring Midgard’s song “Failure of Utopia” on its Knuckletracks compilation alongside artists such as Dio and Manowar. The band’s style was first established with 2001’s “Within the Darkness” EP, and further developed in 2004 with “Ignite the Shattered Sky” EP, following which Midgard took an extended hiatus.
In 2011, the band has been reactivated with the goal of continuing to make memorable and poignant music. The core of Midgard sound remains intact, with the powerful and varied vocals supplemented by haunting melodies and hard-edged guitar riffs, but now the band's songwriting is supplemented by a decade of experience, showcasing a mature yet heavy and aggressive sound. The end result of reformation is “Satellite”, a full-length album scheduled for release in December 2012.
Both a new beginning and a culmination of the band’s progress to date, “Satellite” delivers on the promise displayed by the early EPs while introducing fresh new ideas. Songs like “Empire” and “Winter Assault” remain firmly in the melodic death metal territory, complementing “Waves of Acheron” with its mostly clean vocals and progressive touches, and gothic-inspired “If”. Modern riffing of “Until the Sirens Call” sits side-by-side with bitter aggression of the title track and melancholy of “As the Phoenix Falls”. Acoustic guitars and haunting melodies of “Absolute Zero Heart” harken back to Midgard’s doom metal influences, while calm piano intro to “Hellfire” gives way to blast beats and vicious death metal growls.
Despite the multitude of influences and ideas, “Satellite” manages to forge a sound that is unique yet appealing to fans of many genres of metal. It is focused, heavy, melodic in all the right parts, boasting powerful songwriting and solid performances from all four band members. This is not an attempt to relive past glories – far from it. Midgard is as relevant in 2012 as ever, and “Satellite” is the beginning of a bright new era for the band.