Review Summary: Four songs which are heavy, mellow, moving and thought provoking at the same time. In other words, more of what made Hydra good, but even better.
Satariel is one of those bands that at first glance seem mediocre, but there's just something in their music that's utterly captivating, it grips you and never lets go. While their first two albums were just adequate blackened death, 2005's Hydra changed everything. Adding tasteful female choirs much like in In Flames' song "Whoracle", copious clean singing and atmospheric keys, that album made quite a statement. Chifra followed suit in 2007, and right now we're in the process of waiting for the album White Ink, which has been in production for several years already. The guys from Satariel neither have time nor label support to pump out albums every two years, which is quite a shame, since this little EP is quite a tasty musical morsel.
The EP is quite a bit more straightforward than Hydra, and without the many synthy and orchestral/choral tastes, but also slightly better written - the chorus melodies are smooth and lack any awkwardness. The music is assertive, yet not imposing, a weird mixture of heaviness and mellowness that only Satariel can pull off. Even though this isn't the heaviest stuff you'll hear, even for melodeath, it's still satisfying in other ways. The song structures are rather uncomplicated and perhaps even repetitive, but the melodies themselves are very pleasing and uplifting without being cheesy. Atmosphere is definitely the most unique thing Satariel has had going for it since Hydra, and this EP carries the trend on. Due to its brevity, however, the whole emotional spectrum that one can find on Hydra has not been showcased.
Be that as it may, Chifra is a very promising EP that gives the band's fans high hopes for their next effort. If you're a fan of mellow yet highly emotional poppy melodeath with thoughtful lyrics, captivating atmosphere and amazing vocals - black metal, growls and cleans - this little piece is definitely worth checking out.