Satyricon - Never brought anything new to black metal
Zyklon - Mediocre death metal at best, dire at worst. Drumming pisses off a lot of people.
Anaal Nathrakh - They're the br00thurl band of black metal - brutality for brutality's sake.
I'll offer some differing takes on these bands.
Satyricon were bringing Neo-classical folk into Black Metal very early on, and understood Blackmetal's true spirit then.
I'll use my review on Zyklon's first album, which is their only innovative and truely worthwhile one. -
Zyklon arose from the ashes of Emperor as an outlet for an evolving philosophy that could not be properly expressed in Emperors decaying form of Black Metal. They take what they have learned through their experience in Blackmetal and apply it to core elements of Deathmetal. This is apparent ideologically and musically. Similar to the blasting aesthetic of Anaal Nathrakh, Zyklon create a vision of decay thanks to the chains of technological/sociopolitical "advancement". Their lyrics and music together provide a telling warning of what will happen should the current course of "development" continue.
"The Hammer is mine, The Revelation is yours!
Am I God, or am I the Devil?
Its a comperhensable, yet complex reality,
because it means that when the past catches up to the present,
We have no future!"
The lyrics were all written entirely by Bard Faust, during his stay in prison. These are not your typical blood and guts lyrics expressing mindless nihilism that are common in the Deathmetal Genre. They express the nihilism found within a post blackmetal world where the Neo-classical romanticism inherent in Second wave Norwegian bands is disappearing, yet western culture continues to destroy itself. Instead of looking backward, Zyklon look forward and paint a vision of decadence and enslavement true to the foundation of Deathmetal ideology. The Black Metal revolution failed - dispite their best efforts it betrayed itself, and one thing still remains apparent as ever - only death is real.
The production is just what I would look for from a band of this nature. The density of Death Metal, with the harshness of Black Metal. This is alot harsher and more violent then the stuff Emperor was doing most recently. The chaotic blasting may hinder some of the atmosphere but helps fuel the nihilistic concept.
The vocals of Daemon(of Limbonic Art) summon an ancient fury within one disenchanted with the vicious cycle of destruction that has been dubbed modernism.
Relying on the foundations of the previous generation of Deathmetal, the re-energized warriors of Zyklon create the perfect soundtrack to where we are and where we are heading in a post Cold War neo-conservative dominated world.
"Time is not returning, a new world will rise, once and for all."
While philosophically speaking Anaal Nathrakh is some what lacking as compared to their influences, especially on their new material, they do push the extremity of BM to new and frightening heights on The Codex Necro. Their new album suffers from the lack of a unified concept like the one that made The Codex Necro the succuss it was, and instead simply tries to be the most "extreme" it can be. They have embraced Brutal Death, a genre that is generally twice as braindead as modern Black metal. While their new record is a relatively satisfying METAL record, it fails to deliver on any deeper level and thus fails as a BLACK METAL record fully. Musically speaking they have definately moved into the realm of Blackened Death anyway.