There are few things more tragic than developing a disability or condition that prevents you from following your passions. As a writer, I would be devastated if I lost my ability to type or handle a pen. But the best among us manage to excel in the face of adversity. The world is full of people who have managed to overcome debilitating conditions in order keep doing the activities they love. Back in 2018, musician Satyra was diagnosed with Lyme disease and was soon unable to play musical instruments. Instead of giving up on music, he created a robotic metal band called Electromancy that is every bit the equal of old-fashioned human bands.
Lyme disease isn’t an uncommon disease, but the symptoms generally aren’t life-changing if it is caught and treated quickly enough. Most people contract Lyme disease from ticks, which are prevalent in temperate climates. Unfortunately, in some situations Lyme disease can result in severe symptoms, such as damage to joints and the nervous system. Satyra’s symptoms were bad, and he could no longer play instruments that were necessary to create the music he loved. That music is a mixture of black metal and death metal. Instead of abandoning his music, Satyra turned to technology. He may not have been able to play the guitar anymore, but he could use robots to continue making music.
Satyra’s band, Electromancy, is made up entirely of robotically-controlled musical instruments, while he sings vocals. The heavily-distorted guitar — an indispensable piece of any metal band—is played by small solenoids that pluck at the strings. Those are controlled by an Arduino Pro Micro development board through a series of relays. The snare drum gets hammered by another solenoid. The kick drum’s pedal was replaced by a drumstick that is swung by a servo motor. Those are the only instruments showcased in the video above, which is a cover of Darkthrone’s “Transylvanian Hunger.” But those same techniques can be adapted for other instruments in the future if Satyra ever decides to expand Electromancy’s robotic band roster. Satyra even added some theatrical flair in the form of LED lighting — most notably in the skulls of a trio of faceless mannequins. If that isn’t metal AF, I don’t know what is.