Monster Island And The Satan Of Fire



Liam Murphy

December 10, 2023

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Intricate MIDI elements are possessed by fiery and theatrical metal music energy on this release

Metals more extreme subgenres offer visceral sounds through heavy, often unrelenting instrumentation and inhuman performances. Vocalists drag lyrics up from the depths of the body and drummers hammer double bass pedals, structuring songs atop intricate, breakneck rhythms. Due to this bond with human exertion, electronic death metal is a rare sound (especially when you exclude artists that lean heavily into dubstep). This is one of the many reasons why Liverpool-based winterquilt is so interesting to behold.

The artist often presents a sound that simultaneously feels heavy and spacey, a mix of raw organic instrumentation and more atmospheric electronic sounds. Monster Island And The Satan Of Fire finds the artist bringing their metal sound centre stage, rerecording a never-before-heard metal album from scratch with MIDI.

From the very start, the listener is swiped in the face by pressurised metal instrumentation. Here There Be Monsters sets out the macabre and fairly theatrical atmosphere reflected in the album name and artwork. One can hear the advantages of electronic instrumentation in the lightning-fast and hyper-accurate salvos of drums and guitar are laid throughout the track. In the melodic section of the first half, croaking MIDI synth replicates the sound of a horrific creature. winterquilt also makes the most of jagged resonant moments that flash by but leaving a lasting sting. Similarly on The Wicce, the quantised nature of the track’s electronic parts gives a stealthy energy. The artist is able to burst out suddenly with metal instrumentation and sink back in a moment’s notice. 

Elsewhere on Monster Island, winterquilt delights with this blend of electronic and organic. Ascend The Slippery Way, featuring lyrics taken from a shower construction unit’s less-than-adequate translated instructions features menacing synth leads over the top of dynamic metal guitars. Its titular phrase delivered in a deliciously theatrical, macabre manner. To Gallop On Serpents presents a sound many will find reminiscent of the artist’s fantastic H Y M N. A nimbler metal track that starts with hypnotising chopped vocals reminiscent of throat singing before heading into shadowy instrumentation fit with classic buoyant MIDI bass. 

Across Monster Island And The Satan Of Fire, winterquilt gifts listeners an EP that meshes the quantised and atmospheric qualities of electronic music with the scorching elements of extreme metal. But, as the artist has often shown, it is the willingness to approach these two genres – often held with a certain austere – with an attitude of playful freshness and vitality that make it an exciting listen.