Satyricon – The Age of Nero

“The Darkness You Wish to Hide”



Satyricon, a band that is hated a lot in the purist black metal community for creating this melodic black metal style. Yes, I called it melodic black metal, since it is neither black metal or black ‘n’ roll. You can take Carcass and their shift towards melodic death metal back in ’93 with the album “Heartwork”. As they did, Satyricon went from black metal to a style still keeping black elements but also a more heavy form of metal. Of course there is the vocals as well, which actually at some times could be compared to Jeff Walker’s.

The production has improved since “Now, Diabolical” and it sounds much more professional. On some tracks on the album there has been added a tuba which really blends in with the music, and gives it a nice feel, where the previous album had a more evil sound to it, “The Age of Nero” has a more dark sound but also keeping the evilness.
To be honest I really hope that the band will sit down soon and work on a new album in the same vein of this release, and “Now, Diabolical” as well. Hopefully the addition of some orchestral music on the next record maybe to give it a diverse feel. It has been four years since the release of this album at the time of this review, so maybe the band will announce something soon.

The first song I encountered from this album was My Skin is Cold, the version on this album is different though, as the version I heard first, and still prefer is from the EP of the same name. Not that the album version is bad, the EP version just has a better sound to it. This release also sees the return of a song in Norwegian in the likes of Den Siste which means The Last.

The album cover for this release is pretty good, at least for my taste. The picture of the black crow and its dark surroundings gives it a dark feel, and it is kind of in the same vein when you talk layout as the previous two albums. At the time of this review it has been four years since this album was released. There’s plenty of highlights from this album, even though they may not strike you as memorable songs at first. Though I always prefer to recommend people to listen to the entire album, there is some people who is more than lazy. The Wolfpack, Black Crow on a Tombstone, My Skin is Cold, The Sign of the Trident and Den Siste is the tracks that really shines through, but again, listen to the whole album.

If you expect purist black metal, or some kind of modern black metal, then keep away from this album. But saying that is kind of mean… Keep an open mind when you listen to new music, ignore all the bashing that angry black metal kids are slinging around the internet about Satyricon, this album is great, dark and entertaining.
To sum up this experience, “The Age of Nero” takes elements from the previous album and takes them to a higher level, giving us a fresh new album setting itself apart from the rest with some great songs, great compositions and great production.

Lastly, a lot of people talking trash about the way the band looks on the promo shots and videos for this album, no it may not be “trve kvlt blerk mertl” and I am very thankful for that. So I would like to end this review with a quote.

Oh the irony of black metal fans criticising someone for their appearance…

Rating – 8.9 out of 10


(Originally published on November 19th, 2012.)
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