Monday 10 June 2013


This post's artist is from the May 2013 Mix, this is track #16.
Genres: Hardcore / Screamo / Jazz
Related artists: Hot Cross, Aim Of Conrad, The Fiction, Off Minor, Olde Ghost, IseliaInterpol.
Country: New York, USA
Years Active: 1997-2000
Song: Roquentin
Album: Enronel
Year: 1999
For fans of: Anasarca, Ethel Meserve, Off Minor, Fall of Troy, The Pine, La Quiete, Hot Cross, City of Caterpillar and La Dispute.

Pronounced 'SAY-sha'/'SAY-shuh'

SAETIA has to be 'the' band when talking about the rise in popularity of the screamo genre. They almost single-handedly spawned the genre by accident. I would say that most people who have heard SAETIA generally gravitate towards loving the shit out of them or complaining about the noise and ridiculous high-pitched screaming. To be honest, both sides have compelling arguments.

Billy Werner, in many ways, gave his voice (willingly or not) to the bible of screamo back in 1997 and many enthusiasts still hear him in their heads, moaning lines such as, "there is no happy here", "spine, thigh and breast" and "closed hands and open arms hold nothing". For the vast majority of the songs, Billy is simply wailing and screaming  away (sometimes very incomprehensibly) and can he can most certainly sound very banshee-esque. The vocals drip with so much emotion that I would not have been surprised to see him start sobbing mid-song while performing - although I'm sure this wasn't the case. His lyrics were poetic and dark, with a flair for the dramatic and a honed focus on Greek and Roman mythology. Check out a very personal interview with him HERE about his past and where he is now.

The instrumental section of SAETIA is something not be overlooked. Not only is this style of music very complex and beautiful, but it managed to separate itself from the generic and sterile 'body' of music, and created something entirely new and exciting. I should mention that the band has more than likened themselves to Anasarca and Ethel Meserve, so make your own conclusion based on your personal listening history. If I were to strip it down, I would mention things like; clean groovin' guitars, bouncy passages, crazy noodling and serene interludes. The great thing is, all four of those things usually happen within a single song. To provide some examples: you've got extremely chill and soothing passages, such the entirety of "Woodwell", the beginning of "Postlapsaria", "The Poet You Never Were" and the middle section of "Ariadne's Thread", meanwhile, the other half of "Ariadne's Thread", as well as songs like "Notres Langues Nous Trompent" and "Roquentin" contain complex noodling with quick time-changes and breakdowns. During these freak-outs, attentive listeners are treated to some amazing bouncy and commanding rhythms that, at times, are the only coherent thing being played - so it helps mould together the basic framework for each SAETIA masterpiece. With the exception of the demo and first 7", I would label their 'Retrospective' as critically influential and, yes, a masterpiece.

The SAETIA drummer Greg Drury also erected the phenomenal, but now defunct, label Level-Plane Records - which released some of the all-time greatest and most obscure records that my ears have had the pleasure of listening to.

SAETIA, for all intensive purposes, split into 3 major bands. First, The Fiction was relatively short-lived and sounded like SAETIA-light. The second, and most well-known, was Hot Cross, the all-star screamo band with Billy Werner on vocals. The last, and in my opinion best, offshoot was Off Minor. They truly carried the screamo torch lit by SAETIA. Their 'Problematic Courtship' EP, 'Heat Death of the Universe' LP and 'Innominate' LP are fantastic. You can read Jamie's account of SAETIA HERE.

1997 - Demo cassette

1997 - Saetia 7"

1998 - Saetia cd/12"LP

1999 - Enronel 7"

2001 - A Retrospective cd (compiles the two 7"s, 12", demo and 5 live tracks)

SAETIA - A Retrospective cd
Considering that Level-Plane no longer exists, I have no issue posting the 'Retrospective' cd in full as an mp3 zipfile. Enjoy!

youtube )))))audio((((( links

SAETIA - Ariadne's Thread

SAETIA - Some Natures Catch No Plagues

SAETIA - The Poet You Never Were

SAETIA - Endymion


youtube (((((live video))))) link

SAETIA - Notres Langues Nous Trompent

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