Satyricon – Satyricon

“The Unwanted Rumbles Our World”

 

Ahh, it is time again for all the angry close-minded black metal fans to talk shit about Satyricon again. Oh, how I’ve missed it! Actually I haven’t, I am just practising my sarcasm. After five years, the Norwegian duo finally returned with a new album, and this one is bound to split even more fans than the predecessors.

From the get-go when the introduction Voice of Shadows starts, it was very clear to me that it would be a different Satyricon that was unfolding than it was five years ago. This time we’re handed a much more progressive and atmospheric piece of work, and I must say if there is a genre I hardly ever listen to, then it’s progressive. However I am not very fond of the intro-track, Voice of Shadows as it throws the listener off course, at least it did with me. It doesn’t quite suite what it leads up to, the track, Tro og Kraft which is one of the best songs off the album, as it together with some of the other highlights from the album, still have the same vibe as some tracks from “The Age of Nero”. But it is adapted to the sound of this album, and it is something you must hear for yourself.

The weakest track on the album is Phoenix, mainly because of the guest vocals from Norwegian singer Sivert Høyem. It’s very hard for me to adjust to such a mainstream vocal in the middle of a Satyricon album. Musically the track is fine and sounds good, plus Frost keeps it from getting too mainstream with his signature drumming. But I would love to hear the track with Satyr’s vocals on instead. Luckily the band applies some damage control with Walker Upon the Wind which puts you back on track where Nocturnal Flare left off. It actually does that and a little more as it has a lot more tempo to it. So don’t think Satyricon have gone all soft, because they haven’t! A track like Ageless Northern Spirit could easily been recorded on “The Age of Nero” as it actually hits you hard in the face but also got the slower passages that builds up for yet another punch in the face!

I was positively surprised when I saw the cover for this release, as it fits the album unbelievable well. It is different from the works they used in the past, and it should be as this album is truly unique. I’ve narrowed down the highlights of the album to the following: Tro og Kraft, Our World, It Rumbles Tonight, Walker Upon the Wind, Ageless Northern Spirit, and The Infinity of Time and Space. Previously Satyricon has divided a lot of fans because of the new directions they’ve taken, and this album will do the exact same thing as it wanders off into a different direction than “The Age of Nero”. But it is a good, and interesting path they have chosen.

You know, it doesn’t always have to be about frostbitten mountains, grim forests or killing Christians. And it is getting tiring to hear people complaining about Satyricon, after all, it is not 2006 any more. So how about growing the fuck up, instead of saying this band is pretending to be this and that. As I said, it’s tiring. Satyricon keeps growing as a band, and they will continue to grow, and that is one of the things that keep making this band so interesting.

This is an album that will grow on you. If you liked any of Satyricon’s newer albums, counting from “Volcano” and up, then you will find some good sides to this album. This album doesn’t hit you as hard in the face as “The Age of Nero” did, and with good reason since it never was its intention. This self-titled album is much more progressive and atmospheric, to be precise, it is the most atmospheric album since “Nemesis Divina”. But since it’s not “trve kvlt blerk merdl” with corpsepaint and stuff, then nobody cares. However there is still hard hitting moments on the album that reminds you of the recent predecessors. So if you liked those albums then you should give this a try, if not, try it anyway. This album should be enjoyed for what it is, and as I said, it will grow on you. And remember… listen to it with an open mind.

Rating – 8.3 out of 10


(Originally published on September 19th, 2013.)
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