Review Summary: Satyricon know where they want to go, but aren't getting there yet.Volcano
is the fifth studio effort from Satyricon. It follows the line of its predecessor, further abandoning the pure black metal roots in favour of the black & roll approach, which they would go on to refine on their next album, Now Diabolical
. For this fact alone, Satyricon obviously got their good share of criticism from the metal community, but while it's true that this album has some entirely forgettable songs, it also contains some good material.
At my signal, unleash hell
is the quote that kicks off the album into the first song, which pretty much sums up the album’s overall sound. Guitars still retain an edgy, dirty sound but are now playing simple and straight-forward riffs that focus much more on groove rather than melody. Although drum patterns are pretty simplistic, Frost owns the drumkit and knows when to hold off to fit the slower sections of the songs. Vocals tend more towards angry, harsh screams than the typical black metal shriek that could be found in the band’s first albums. The formula works well throughout the first songs, but eventually starts to get repetitive and uninteresting as you move on to the middle section of the album, which is the weakest and most forgettable part of the album.
However if you have managed to keep listening until the end, you will be rewarded with the closing tracks Mental Mercury
and Black Lava
which are the best material this album has to offer. The former is definitely the closest the album gets to classic black metal, and although it starts pretty much with the same black & roll formula as well, it soon moves into a slower, tremolo riff driven atmosphere. The last track is the slowest on the album, having sections that would be close to doom were it not for the sharp sounding guitars. The track slides forward like, well, Black Lava drifting down the mountainside
. Hitting the 14+ minute mark, it can drag a bit toward the end, but it is a great song with plenty of riffs and tempo changes.
is a much more consistent record than their previous album, Rebel Extravaganzza
, in the sense that while Rebel Extravaganzza
showed a will to experiment with new sounds and find a new direction, Volcano
feels like Satyricon have already found this direction and have begun to follow it. They know where they want to go, but aren't getting there yet.