Satyricon-"Satyricon" (2013 Nuclear Blast Records)
The self titled ,eighth album from Norwegian black metal pioneers Satyricon is a bit of a departure from the evolved sound of Norwegian black metal. Satyricon has always been at the forefront of the evolution of the black metal movement. In the beginning, mainstays Satyr and drummer extraordinaire Frost were more of a traditional black metal band with the atmospheric sounds, lightning fast guitars and blast beats. Satyr has always had a unique vocal styling for black metal, staying away from the high shrieks and screams, for a more raw throat full of gravel type of approach. The band even incorporated industrial elements for their fourth studio offering "Rebel Extravaganza". The next series of three releases, "Volcano", "Now Diabolical", and "The Age of Nero", changed the genre again, this time introducing more of a "rock" sounding black metal. This set them apart from what any other band was doing at the time.
On "Satyricon", however, Satyr and Frost have done it again. This time encompassing more harmonies and melodies within each structure, honing their sound to perfection, while going back to add the atmospheric elements that traditional black metal seems to live by. The bands sound is more refined and polished, as complex drum patterns and arrangements,even by Frost's standards are pulled off with ease. The guitar tone and sound still has that "rock" feel to it, with the raw edge that has seen Satyricon continuously push the envelope. I like to refer to it as dirty black metal that leads to a majestic build up, that doesn't let up on the listener. This is a different listen for sure, killing any pre conceived notions about what Satyricon would dish up this time around. The album demands a lot from the listener, to pick up on the subtle , yet complex layers going on here.The album starts off at a bit of a slower,precise pace, making the listener feel like they are in some dark ,cold,woods.Then you get to the track "Walker Upon the Wind", and the listener is greeted with a punk rock , black metal Venom/Bathory type feel. Satyricon has also never been one of those black metal bands that go with what seems sometimes like an unlistenable production and mix, as if that makes the record more evil to the listener.
Overall, I give "Satyricon" a 10 out of 10, as the bands sound continues to evolve into perfection on any musical spectrum. Tracks like "Nekrohaven", "Ageless Northern Spirit", and "Walker Upon the Wind" will give long time fans of the band something to look forward to. Satyr's vocals have gotten better over time, as he also plays the guitars,keyboards,and bass. Frost continues to be head and shoulders above other drummers in the genre. Both Satyr and Frost are at the top of their game,and firing on all cylinders. Do yourself a favor and let this epic release from the premiere black metal band of today soak in, as you find yourself wanting more and more of it.
1- Voice of Shadows
2- Tro og Kraft
3- Our World it Rumbles Tonight
4- Nocturnal Flare
6- Walker Upon the Wind
8- Ageless Northern Spirit
9- The Infinity of Time and Space
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