Although you can never say never (as we saw last week with a stonking return to form by Trivium), the chances of Satyricon returning to the dizzy Black Metal heights of ‘Rebel Extravaganza’ are, to say the least, pretty damn slim.
Satyricon have been broadening their pallette for a while now. While some releases have hit the sweet spot (for us) like ‘Now Diabolical’ with its blackened hard rock punch; there’s always been the less tasty releases. Last time around, we weren’t too fussed about the band’s self-titled outing, but we live in hope for something to get our teeth into this time around.
‘Deep Calleth upon Deep’ sees Satyricon on much better form. First impressions/judging an album by its sleeve isn’t great with the artwork seemingly created to shirk off any black metal elitists once and for all. It looks like something Blur or Gomez would put on the shelves rather than the dark works of Satyr and Frost.
But, like we said… don’t judge a book by the cover etc…
Over the course of their career, Satyricon have pumped out some varying albums yet anything by this band is immediately recognisable as Satyricon. They have a signature sound that runs in the background no matter what direction they are currently heading in. That sound lives on with this album and it has to be said, this is the most exciting Satyricon album in a long time.
The opening barrage of ‘Midnight Serpent’ immediately pricks the ears before Satyr’s venomous scowl leaps into action. The typical Satyricon jagged verse chops up the sound before the inevitable eruption of drums from Frost. It’s not a straight forward blast of black metal but it packs a mighty punch. We’re certainly underway with a flyer.
This album, as we should expect by now, does not all follow the same blueprint. Skip forward a few tracks to ‘The Ghost of Rome’ and you almost have a stoner black metal song that wouldn’t sound out of place at Desertfest. Obviously, it still keeps some black metal atmosphere in there, it’s just a bit fuzzy too.
There’s is some real exploration in this album. Where the last self-titled release just washed over you with little to spark any interest; this one chops and changes but retains a good flow throughout the album. ‘To Your Brethren in the Dark’ is a mournful slow-burner while ‘Black Wings And Withering Gloom’ smashes down the doors with an unholy sledgehammer.
So yeah, Satyricon are back. They’ve hit on a new sound that retains some black metal atmosphere and their more progressive leanings of late. ‘Deep Calleth upon Deep’ is a very welcome return to form from Satyr and Frost.