NEW YORK (AFP) - Foo Fighters on Monday released a free mini-album dedicated to the victims of the Paris attacks, voicing hope that music can offer a bit of joy amid tragedy.
The guitar rock giants made available for downloading without charge an EP called Saint Cecilia, the title presumably an allusion to the patron saint of music.
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl said the EP was originally designed as "a celebration of life and music" to mark the end of the group's global tour.
"Now, there is a new, hopeful intention that, even in the smallest way, perhaps these songs can bring a little light into this sometimes dark world," Grohl wrote in a letter to announce the EP.
"To remind us that music is life, and that hope and healing go hand in hand with song. That much can never be taken away," he wrote.
Grohl, also known as the drummer for grunge legends Nirvana, encouraged fans to make donations for survivors and families of the Paris victims, offering a link on the band's website.
Foo Fighters had originally planned to play Paris last week on one of the last dates of a global tour.
But the band ended its tour early after the assault claimed by the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) group that included a massacre of 89 people at a concert of Eagles of Death Metal, a California rock band that has collaborated with Grohl.
"To all who were affected by the atrocities in Paris, loved ones and friends, our hearts go out to you and your families. We will return and celebrate life and love with you once again someday with our music. As it should be done," Grohl wrote in his latest message.
The music follows Foo Fighters' style of hard-charging rock alternating with cleaner-cut tracks driven by acoustic guitar.
One track, Saviour Breath, harks back at times to the Nirvana era with Grohl screaming over a high-tempo guitar line.
While the EP itself was a surprise, Foo Fighters had been hinting at it for weeks, earlier putting a clock on its website with a countdown to early Monday without further explanation.
Foo Fighters had an eventful year that included Grohl - often described as one of the gentler spirits in rock - breaking his leg in Sweden but returning to finish the show.
Foo Fighters last year released the album Sonic Highways that was billed as an exploration of US musical history, accompanied by a documentary series in which Grohl interviews leading acts in major cities.