I really can't help but laugh when I listen to Satyricon. It's of course due to singer Satyr's incredibly cheesy vocals. It's a given in most black metal that you're going to get incredibly over-the-top, evil vocals, and it always entertains me to no end, but Satyr is one of the most over-the-top, evil sounding vocalists I've heard. While it may somewhat detract from the music, in all honest I just couldn't imagine there being anyone hear to replace him. He fits the band (and to a broader extent, the genre) perfectly.
Being their breakout album, Nemesis Divina
can arguably be called the height of their discography. While I am completely unfamiliar with the rest of their discography, I can so feel inclined to say it is a surprisingly engaging experience. The musicianship is top-notch, with the riffs being pulse-poundingly good and the chord progressions Satyr (who handles much of what occurs, along with help from Kvelduv [of Darkthrone]) provides being of surprisingly high quality.
However, Satyricon's biggest boon is drummer Frost, who is absolutely one of the most plainly kickas
s drummers I've recently encountered. While his work elsewhere may be comparatively better, he still owns all sorts of face here, with his hammering, fast drumming just itching you to air drum along with him. His counterpart in (surprise) Satyr on bass is unfortunately not nearly as pronounced. While Frost may get lost in the mix occasionally, the basswork in this album is almost constantly close to being inaudible. it's a shame, as the bassline in songs like Mother North
are far worthier of a more pronounced role.
The songs themselves are where it's truly at, however. The just stated Mother North
is a blistering riff-driven number, with the sudden bass-drop off giving a dynamic that is plainly unexpected. The Grand Piano near the end of Du Som Hater Gud
, which is one of the more grind-esque songs on the album to boot, is one of the many surprise moments that keep you on the edge of your seat listening to this album, a must when many of the songs tend to get tad repetitive by their end. The strangeness of final track Transcendental Requiem of Slaves
is perhaps the most fitting conclusion to the album; in complete contrast to the biting and "tr00 kvlt metal" way they began the album, Satyricon instead opt for a strange, melodic, almost soundscape-y song.
surprised me in a good way. If you can get past the incredibly cheesy vocals of Satyr, and realize that the album is going to drag a bit at times, it's one of the most enjoyable and easily accessible black metal albums I've ever heard. It's dark, but not impenetrable; it's heavy, but not too much to take. Those epic moments are something to look out for here, and hey, who doesn't want to hear some evil-sounding dude talk about nothing of particular relevance?