Review Summary: Better than Now, Diabolical, but so much slower.
Satyricon are back with another release, quite possibly alienating the haters even more and drawing in the people who got used to their black'n roll sound.
First of all, Satyricon are not 'selling out' by any means. If anything, they're going back to the 'first wave' of black metal- simple and primitive song structures, and a very hateful feel to everything. They sound like a beefed up version of Hellhammer OR you could even compare them to Venom on nyquil.
Why do I say nyquil" I say this because this album is SLOW. There are only several fast parts throughout the album, namely the beginning and end of Commando, Black Crow on a Tomb Stone, and the token 'fast throwaway piece' Die By My Hand. The album chugs along in a fairly sludgy and depressive kind of way, and this is where I would like to make point.
You do NOT listen to Satyricon to feel pumped or to run around your room stabbing imaginary people with scissors. You listen to 1349 or Marduk for that. No, Satyricon creates a sort of boiling anger inside your stomach that you just can't let out. It's a pleasant and festering sort of feeling when you want to feel some lethargic misanthropy to towards the worlds.
I think this album represents Rebel Extravaganza lite for the most part. It's not as complex OR as experimental as that album, but it maintains the 'beefier' production process that that album possessed. I find this album to be a bastard child of that album and Now, Diabolical- it's more interesting than Now, Diabolical, but it's not varied enough to tag as 'experimental/ quasi industrial.'
Now, onto the actual music itself.
The song structures remain rock oriented, though a little more varied then said Now, Diabolical. Satyr is gifted with the ability to take old riffs and essentially mutate them into new and interesting forms, unlike a spiked pants wearing counterpart. The riffs slide up and down in a sort of nauseating and strangely groovy manner, lazily twisting into another strange riff and back, creating the before mentioned 'festering rage at the pit of your stomach' feel. The guitars are sometimes a little TOO boring, and are saved from the brink of death by the hypnotic drums in the background.
To sum this all up, if you are the type of person that likes first wave black metal and don't mind minimalist tendencies in their music, then this is the album for you.
However, if you worship hyperspeed tremelo picking madness on the frozen fjords of troo kvlt frostbitten Norway, stay away from this album like the plague.
All in all, it's a good, but slightly lazy effort from Satr and co.