Death Metal Underground

Satyricon – Satyricon

by Jon Wild
September 26, 2013 –

satyricon-satyriconWhat do musicians do when the drive to create has vanished?

When the label is clamoring for something new, does the band bow down and fulfill the request, or do they uphold standards? Black metal in particular has struggled with these questions for over a decade, with a myriad of responses. Some have chosen to retreat completely, seeking refuge in the wild.

Some have become exasperated with the genre, turning to electronic music before returning in glory. Others have waged war on modernity, risking well-being in pursuit of these goals. However, the greatest number have bowed to the wishes of the crowd and released a product that was quickly forgotten, which is where Satyricon’s self-titled album falls.

Embodying all that is lazy and lethargic, Satyricon is an excellent example of modern black metal ethos. Black metal only on the surface, the album is musically a hard rock/heavy metal album designed for max promotional appeal. Simple riffs with obvious sequencing, simple implementation, and solid production produce a well-shaped package that undoubtedly will allow the band to increase its commercial influence.

Sounding like a tribute to Fallen-era Burzum‘s minor-chord noodling but lacking even what little sense of spirit that album possessed, the band chucks in references to pop and blues cliches as if the label funded a study aimed at producing the most cookie-cutter album conceivable, then shared the results to the band…and let’s not delve into the collaboration with Sivert Høyem.

There is nothing here for readers of this site to enjoy, except for the more morbid members among us. This album goes nowhere. It has nothing to impart. And perhaps most damning, it’s not even terrible. It is simply a non-entity.

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18 comments

  • metalismybusiness

    “Our new album is much more based on atmospheric and emotional structures that make room for young Satyricon fans and let them dictate how the songs turned out and besides make ourselves much more adaptable to BUSINESS.”

    At least they admit it. I doubt artistic expression was ever a goal for this band.

  • MF

    This band has been labelled as “black n roll” by the media for a decade now. I don’t think anyone, even the band, see them as attempting to contribute to the black metal genre.

    1. EDS

      Sure does. Wow but can’t say I’m surprised. I have had at least two of my independant album reviews hijaked and re-worked in a half assesd manner for mainstream metal review sites.

  • Tipper Bloody Gore

    The first tune reminded me of REM for some reason, unless I’m deaf.
    For some fans, late 70s Tangerine Dream was devoid of artistic merit. Yet, their music for the most part of their extensive catalogue, has always been tremendously enjoyable. Of the more rock oriented records, “Cyclone” and live bootleg set “Patrolling Space Borders” remain as winners. Those albums are like a hybrid of early Amon Dül mixed with Ash Ra Tempel and TD early cosmic style. Wonderful!

  • Tarbuz

    I bought this album yesterday and was so pissed off after two tracks. That’s thirteen dollars I’ll never get back. I hate Nuclear Blast. It’s where dead bands go to rot.

  • Bad News

    The comments section of those videos suggested a majority of people disliked the tracks and direction of this album. A few positive comments are later made by new accounts with no other activity, later voted up to be the top comments, and another one is responded to by Nuclear Blast. The same thing occurred on the recent Watain videos.

    Look at this review Nuclear Blast made possible by taking advantage of this gullible oaf, and then look at the comments section.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8llSdNWAkM

    The record companies are brainwashing the masses and using any channel possible to push their mundane ways into our lives.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI2SkSTzXDM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O45tV9cAfiU

    1. Eric Syre

      I agree with you here. They probably have battalions of hired surfers commenting their owns posts and uploads. I guess this is how you milk the most out of your bands when you’re a label in 2013.

  • Eric Syre

    I seriously doubt Satyricon tried to convince us this self-titled album was Black metal to begin with. It is in spirit, obviously, but it’s also so much more. What’s lacking the most here is catchier songwriting. Satyr has a tendency to drag down his riffs for too long and repeat them too many times in a song. Trim the fat off these and you could get a really solid album. “Phoenix” is the song with the most cohesive approach to catchiness and even it is a little too long for full effectiveness. This is the main critique I have as otherwise I applaud the production and the experimentation. As I mentionned elsewhere, this album won’t appeal to angry teenagers but to people in their late 30s who were there since the beginning.

      1. N.

        I must admit I enjoyed (similarly to Eric
        some parts of this though I do not consider it black metal but maybe some dark pop rock with some black metal stylings. I find Phoenix enjoyable despite that it is really cheesy and drags for too long to be fully effective. Anyway, whatever positive feellings I have after listening to this material, they will be probably forgotten in two or three weeks. At least it is more honest than their last releases in the point that it is not trying to appear as black metal.

    1. Flow

      To this person in late 30s who was insane about the past four Satyricon releases, it won’t appeal. The album is so unlistenably tedious, it is oppressive. It is something I want to throw in the garbage. And I bought the vinyls! At least the design fits with the colour of my walls.

  • kvlt attakker

    Satyricon has always been 2nd rate.

    A few decent songs in their catalog don’t make up for the consisting hogwashthey lament upon metal listeners.

  • Flow

    “…pop and blues cliches” – what about metal cliches? While blues music is rarely mundane, despite being ostensibly limited in the means of expression, metal cliches can drive me nuts. And ‘Satyricon’ is full of these. The album is a patchwork of metal quotations, the saddest part being the band quoting themselves. There’s hardly one original idea there. (In fact, is there one?)