This year seems to be the year of black metal bands delivering future classics. The question is, with the bar raised this high, does Satyricon‘s self-titled release reach the same standards?
This record marks the band’s first release since Age of Nero (2008). For this release, the band promised something different – still decidedly them, but a Satyricon who had switched things around somewhat.
Since The Age Of Nero dropped in 2008, the band didn’t disappear, but all went quiet in the Satyricon camp. Now, they emerge from the shadowy depths with a new album in tow. Ageless Northern Spirit, the first track of the record, kicks off in a true black metal style, drums and guitars shred through the dark, blisteringly fast, accompanied by the unique shrieks of frontman Satyr (which are as piercing as ever). This is exactly what I was expecting from this release. Fast and dark! Fast and dark! However, when Natt kicks in, a thick veil of fog descends, and a slow and doomy pace is set. It’s an instrumental piece, quite unlike the fire tinged tracks that come before it. It’s a beautiful track, cinematic at times and all round stunning.
Nocturnal Flare introduces something that I love about this album; a lighter kind of black metal, taking on the same doomy approach as Natt; Low, slow and creeping along the floor. Then, the vocals kick in and slit your throat, and it becomes an absolute headbanger of a track. The lead single for the release, Our World, It Rumbles Tonight, returns to the speedy anthemic atmosphere of K.I.N.G. with a similar groove. Phoenix, the curve ball of the release, features a Black Sabbath instrumental style with Ghost-like vocals. Well, as out of the blue this track is – it’s simply stunning (breathtaking really) and something Satyricon are seriously at home doing. I want more!
Voice Of Shadows is a track so aptly named it hurts. Acting as an intro for the grand finale, this track’s drums and basslines shake the earth and the production is crystal clear (and on the album as a whole). Some black metal purists who like their music to sound like it was recorded in a bean can may take issue with this – I, however, do not! The final chapter of Satyricon is the track Walker Upon The Wind, which sounds massive from the beginning. A real black metal track lunges forth and – we’re at the end of the album.
Until I press play again! Kvlt!
This release spans genres, from Satyricon’s standard black metal home, through doom and onto classic heavy metal. It’s a black metal release that is easily accessible, different and fresh.
After all, if a band stands still too long, they become stale.