[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 7
Label: Nuclear Blast
Website: Link
Author: John Savvidis[/colored_box]

When the conversation turns to black metal bands that looked for artistic freedom beyond the boundaries of the genre they belong to (every one in it’s own way), some of the bands mentioned are Dodheimsgard, Emperor, Arcturus, Thorns and Satyricon who will be the main topic of this review. From established black metal classics such as “Dark Medieval Times” (1994), “The Shadowthrone” (1994) and “Nemesis DIvina” (1996) to the controversial yet now acclaimed “Rebel Extravaganza” (1999), “Volcano” (2002) (with industrial influences taking the place of the majestic feel of the 1994-1996 days) and from there to “Now Diabolical” (2006) and “The Age Of Nero” (2008) which had been a natural continuation of their late 90s – early 00s sound including more staccato and groovy riffage.

Their new self titled album is following the same path. Starts off with an epic intro called “Voice Of Shadows” which leads us the first track called “Tro Og Kraft” showing a more melancholic approach to the Satyricon riffing but a really good track overall. Including some ambient breaks made evident throughout the record. “Our World It Rumbles Tonight” comes up to remind us of “The Age Of Nero” record, with its groovy riffage and comes back to a good atmospheric chorus. “Nocturnal Flare” starts as an headbanging epic black metal riff and keeps on like that throughout the song. Then comes the surprise with “Phoenix” that despite the fact that it kicks in with a dysarmonic Black metal melody, sounds as it could have been written by Paradise Lost or Anathema with Sivert Hoyem of Madrugada guesting on this track. A beautiful song and one of the highlights of the record, yet so different from anything Satyricon have ever done.

Then we have an old school Black metal track called “Walker Upon The Wind” ripping fast and could definitely please the ones looking for speed on this record, and I was reminded of Greek bands of the genre. Following up next we have a more staccato track called “Nekrohaven” with a lead melody reminding a bit of Greek black metal. And this is where the album gets strong Black metal elements from the past. “Ageless Northern Spirit” comes up next sounding pretty majestic and made for headbanging. Another track balancing between midtempo black metal riffage and those ambient/atmospheric parts and the longest one on the record is “The Infinity Of Time And Space” (what a title eh?), and overall great song. The album ends with a really good outro instrumental called “Natt” lead by an amazing doomish melody to end what’s there to be the most melancholic, different and special record for Satyricon.

Overall I can tell a lack in passion in some songs though that could really elevate the result thus my rating. Not the record of the month, let alone the record of the year, just a decent outcome of experimentation by one the bands that are almost synonymous with that term. Worth listening to definitely, some stuff really grow on you.

Track List Line Up
01. Voice of Shadows
02. Tro Og Kraft
03. Our World, It Rumbles Tonight
04. Nocturnal Flare
05. Phoenix
06. Walker Upon The Wind
07. Nekrohaven
08. Ageless Northern Spirit
09. The Infinity Of Time And Space
10. Natt
Frost – drums
Satyr – vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards