23 years is a long time for a band to be in existence. It’s even longer when there are only two core members. Satyricon are still going strong in 2013, and with their self-titled album number eight, it appears they may have come of age.
Satyr and Frost are two of the key members of the Norwegian black metal scene. In an area shrouded in controversy, they’ve managed to steer clear of any incarcerations or silliness to cement Satyricon as one of the main bands in the region. While many of their peers have been fucking their lives up, Satyricon have been driving forward on a journey that has seen them sign to Roadrunner Records and perform at many major metal festivals across Europe.
When a band releases a self-titled album that isn’t a first full-length, you know they mean business. Tracks from ‘Satyricon’ are clearly cuts that have been perfected across a period of time so the rough edges are thoroughly sanded away. Everything that makes Satyricon so popular is apparent, like the meandering menace of ‘Nocturnal Flare’ and the bleak ferociousness of ‘Ageless Northern Spirit’.
It’s impressive how Satyricon are able to take a relatively sparse arsenal of instruments and create such a bold atmosphere. Simple chord structures and meticulously crafted bridges are molded together to sound like Satan is greasing up his cock over your shoulder at the sound of every note. In 2013, however, it’s important not to sound stale. This is achieved via the curveballs of ‘Nekrohaven’ and ‘Phoenix’. ‘Nekrohaven’ is a blackened rock song in the vein of Ghost but with growling, sounding like a possessed-by-Beelzebub version of Kylesa. ‘Phoenix’ is the real surprise though; an entirely clean sung 6.5 minute voyage through undeniably dark pastures. Satyr‘s croons wouldn’t be out of place in a Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds song.
Satyricon have made it to the top, and they’re not gonna stop there. Watain are in a similar position, and with the release of their new album, ‘The Wild Hunt’, expect the two factions to be competing against each other for your attention over the next few years.
Written by MG Savage (@MGsavagewriter)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.