Review Summary: BLACK CROW ON A TOMBSTONE!
Satyricon have over the course of their career succeeded in alienating a great deal of their fan base with their black 'n' roll direction that the band has undertaken since their album 'Rebel Extravaganza'
was released in 1999. This direction change has since continued, the pinacle of which was reached with 2006's release of 'Now, Diabolical'
which succesfully brought together what had been undertaken since 'Rebel...'
at the same time pleasing the fans of the new black 'n' roll material. However, this had the issue of further alienating the diehard fans. Fast forward to 2008 and we have 'The Age of Nero'
, which takes the new style and forms an unholy union with their black metal roots, drawing from the first wave inspirations they look up to.
Instrumentally both Satyr and Frost are on top form; Frost is a truly talented drummer, his double bass work is flawless, ripping out fast, controlled and technical double bass rhythms and then swapping easily into the slower rock style passages, never once sounding out of place or flawed. On guitar, Satyr cooks up some very catchy and memorable riffs, songs such as 'Black Crow on a Tombstone'
will both stick in your head, whether you like it or not, the riffs are very good, drawing on both black metal and old school rock stylings, coupled with a deep fuzz distortion and you have a recipe for a good song basis, simple, nothing technical, but memorable. The riffs are varied as well, no two songs have ones that are too similar that your in danger of mixing them up, they also change throughout the songs, evolving so no one will become boring. This album is a lot heavier than 'Now Diabolical'
their is a lot heavier base, and as a result their is a lot more of an assualt upon listening, more to get into, and this is good, the album draws you in, and envelops you in a suffocating darkness. This album is slower than a lot of their previous works, with only a couple of fast songs, the quickest been 'Die By My Hand'
but most pound along, building up hate and anger as they go till your at breaking point, then hit you with a faster song.
Vocally, Satyr is as he always is, his mid-ranged growl spits out lyrics that sound full of hate. His range is very limited, not getting particually high at any point, but rather he creates vocal lines that match his riffage and then becomes higher in the chorus, creating vocal patterns that are as catchy as the riffs themselves. Lyrically there is nothing particually special about the album, they are generic, and in some places sound out of place or just don't make sense. For example, from 'Commando'
In the house of lords
We control the movement
Of your limbs
There is endless beauty
In the might that we possess
Dragons are creatures
Of (our) own imagination
And dragons... Dragons breathe fire
The lyrics don't draw much away though, their never annoying, just there.
Overall, Satyricon have released a great black 'n' roll album, it's not black metal by any definition, but it's a fun album to listen to, well crafted, well produced and very dark and heavy. It's more likely to interest people than 'Now, Diabolical'
if they are after a heavy album. But if your a fan of the new Satyricon, then this is a definite must listen.
Black Crow on a Tombstone
Die By My Hand
Sign of The Trident