It is a good album, but I would still pick "Dark Medieval Times" over it. In
comparison, "Nemesis Divina" is much faster and relentless, and the use of
keyboards has been minimized. It is also better played and produced. But
technical superiority can't replace the awesome dark atmosphere of "Dark
Medieval Times." That is not to say that "Nemesis Divina" doesn't have its
own identity. There is a clearly pronounced Nordic/Viking feel, emphasized
by the famed "Mother North" track. But on the down side, the majority of the
remaining songs can't quite match the album's centerpiece and rather serve as
its supplement. It is a good record nevertheless, but when some people start
calling it one of the greatest black metal albums ever - it is a blatant
overstatement and further indulging of Satyr's already overblown ego.
The case with Satyricon and many other bands is that their early records are
played more sloppily and the production values are poorer, but all of this is
compensated by the emotional factor - genuine earnestness and unfeigned
self-expression that are spontaneous and impulsive. Together these elements
create its own distinctive aura. What happens then is that bands grow up and
feel the need to progress and all that stuff. They may make music that is
still good or even great, but you feel like there is something missing,
namely this aura, which the musicians either can't capture anymore, or refuse
to because they don't want to repeat themselves. This missing part is the
reason people would say things like " their first album is still their best"
or "nothing can compare to their early stuff." This is the reason why "Dark
Medieval Times" will always be the best Satyricon record.
© 2000 boris