Satyricon
Satyricon


2.5
average

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (143 Reviews)
September 9th, 2013 | 13 replies | 4,399 views


Release Date: 09/09/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Satyricon go through the motions. Again.

Five years have passed since we last heard anything at all of Satyricon, yet it seems that no-one save the very few devoted fans of the band left cares. Not to say that Satyricon have alienated what once was a considerably large arsenal of fans, but ever since the release of arguably the band’s most accessible album, “Volcano”, the band have gradually been forgotten by more and more people with every successive record. Despite the band’s constant pleas to convince everyone that they were in fact progressing with their sound, both “Now diabolical” and “The age of Nero” suffered from songs which, for the most part, plodded along at a snail’s pace and never really took off or exploded as much as, say, ‘Mother north’ or even ‘Fuel for hatred’. So it’s really up to the band’s questionably self-titled release to salvage whatever respect they have left within the world of extreme metal.

Unfortunately, things do not look good for the band, as “Satyricon” begins with four tracks which sound as if they were dragged into the depths of hell (No half-hearted pun intended), and the people suffering are actually the poor souls who sit throughout the entirety of ‘Tro og Kraft’ or the maliciously mediocre ‘Our world, it rumbles tonight’. What the hell were the band thinking? Even the intro, ‘Voice of shadows’, which admittedly is to be best remembered as the first time Satyricon have ever used an actual intro for an album, doesn’t amount to anything but a gradually louder noise, and ‘Tro og kraft’ has a structure that is unfortunately too repetitive to interest even the most committed Sayricon fan. A guitar that repeats its own riff for minutes on end, drums that are nowhere near as prominent as they used to be, and a man of Satyr’s stamina (He’s apparently played football in his local community before) growling lowly as if he’s completely bored with his own presence. ‘Our world, it rumbles tonight’ suffers in the same way, and is only overshadowed by ‘Nocturnal flare’ if not for a slightly faster pace, then definitely for a more interesting mid-section that actually uses a solo and a more melodic approach to song-writing. As if anyone needed to be reminded, these major problems are what the band’s previous two albums suffered from.

Thankfully, by the time ‘Phoenix’ arrives (if you haven’t given up on the band or indeed the album altogether yet), things begin to pick up increasingly well. This particular song features Sivert Høyem (of Madrugada fame) singing with clean vocals, which is nice, because it replaces Satyr's bleak, monotone vocals and give the listener a nice surprise. In the same way that ‘The wild hunt’ worked for Watain, ‘Phoenix’ is actually concrete evidence of Satyricon progressing with their sound, and although the instrumentation is still dull compared to what the band are fully capable of doing, it works in their favour. Other songs which help “Satyricon” climb out of the pit it fell into include ‘Walker upon the wind’, which surprisingly brings to mind a more modernized albeit restrained version of ‘Forhekset’ (From the band’s “Nemesis divina” album), and ‘Nekrohaven’, which can be safely compared to ‘Fuel for hatred’ for all it’s fast-paced frenzy and explosive atmosphere, gives the listener a little more excitement and even offers some replay value.

However, these are a mere three songs out of a total of ten that offer rare, brief delights, and it isn’t long before ‘Ageless northern spirit’ and the unfortunately everlong ‘The infinity of time and space’ return to that same, dull atmosphere that spits out mediocrity, resulting in a half-hearted outro that is nicely melancholic, and could even be called the band’s “anthem” if it hadn’t been placed on an album as virtually lackluster as “Satyricon”.

So what we have here is definitely Satyricon going through the motions. If anyone expected any kind of improvement upon “The age of Nero”, prepare to be disappointed. “Satyricon isn’t absolutely terrible, but it’s not particularly good either, and rather sub-standard from a band (or a duo, if you like) who are fully capable of making us nod our heads in appreciation of good music. If you do want to hear just how brilliant Satyricon can be, take a walk in the nearby forest, bang the band’s first three albums on a playlist and listen to them repeatedly, because “Satyricon” is, if anything, an example of a band on the verge of losing their creativity.



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user ratings (74)
Chart.
2.9
good
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John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF (2.1)
The best thing I can say about this album is that it made me think about walking my cat....


Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2013



1836 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The album stream, in case anyone is bothered enough:

http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=95278


Sorry if anybody thinks I'm being too harsh on the album here, but I can't be the only person who was expecting so much more.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2013



5896 Comments


Good review, pos.

Unfortunately the stream is not working at my location, so based on one track officially posted on YT, I agree on this being average at best.


If you do want to hear just how brilliant Satyricon can be, take a walk in the nearby forest, bang the band’s first three albums

In terms of Satyr's quality production, I would also add the eponymous Thorns album.

Digging: Electric Citizen - Sateen

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2013



6923 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pos'd doubling Vo's points here, I wish this album was 'more'.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2013



1836 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Edited, thanks for the suggestions Voivod.

Wizard
September 9th 2013



19206 Comments


I would italicize album names and watch capitals on names like this:

“The age of Nero”,

But damn linguist, how aren't you a contrib around here? Great review dude.

I will admit I like a few tracks here and there from their more recent material.

Digging: Merzbow - Dust of Dreams

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2013



1836 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"But damn linguist, how aren't you a contrib around here? Great review dude."

It's not that big a deal for me to become contrib or staff, but whenever the opportunity arises to
apply for such positions, I'm always going to give it a go regardless.

"I will admit I like a few tracks here and there from their more recent material."

Well same here! Strangely enough "Now, Diabolical" was the album that got me into Satyricon, and I
remember loving it completely for a month or two. Yet when I heard the band's earlier releases it
just seemed that the newer albums were lacking something, and the sound or instrumentation was not
quite as convincing as those earlier albums.

BallsToTheWall
September 9th 2013



44164 Comments


That's not Satyr singing on Phoenix.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2013



1836 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No it's actually Sivert Høyem from Madrugada. Dont know why I got him and Satyr mixed up.

Hawks
September 9th 2013



34214 Comments


I still really like Now Diabolical and I didn't think The Age of Nero was bad at all so I'll check this out eventually. Not really a priority though.

Cool review too.

Digging: Manners - Pale Blue Light

tbone76
September 10th 2013



1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I must disagree, I am really enjoying this album. Have not stopped listening to it since Friday. Especially Trog og Kraft, Nocturnal Flare, Phoenix and Nekrohaven.

Alastor
September 14th 2013



263 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Better than their last two albums. Somewhat muddy production though.

Digging: Raison d'etre - Requiem for Abandoned Souls

azucarnegra
September 16th 2013



7 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

.........................................

azucarnegra
September 16th 2013



7 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I have spinned the CD a few times and I still have mixed feelings. I like the analog production but is that still Satyricon? Not really what I was prepared for. There are some 3 tracks that actually ARE Satyricon, but others are just bleak and uninspiring. The Rebel Extravaganza creativity and brilliance are forever gone. Anyway, for me the most irritating thing on the album is Sivert Whatever's whining in track 5. That was dreadful.

Overall 8/10 for production, 4/10 for the rest.



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