When Satyricon revisited their classic third album, Nemesis Divina, for their 2016 world tour, there was a strong sense that the nostalgic decks were being briskly cleared to enable this instinctively forwardlooking band to embrace the future with a clear vision. Similarly, 2014’s Satyricon felt very much like a definitive full stop at the end of an era and, with the haughty confidence that fans have come to expect, Deep Calleth Upon Deep is every bit the antagonistic flourish at the commencement of a new campaign. Opener Midnight Serpent is simply extraordinary; those unmistakably angular and menacing riffs are present and correct, of course, but everything sounds bigger, more muscular and fuller of figure than anything Satyricon have done before, with countless subtle details lurking amid the song’s arrangement but never detracting from its power. Blood Cracks Open The Ground is even more stupidly exhilarating, with jarring stabs of dissonance and churning, sinister riffs underpinning one of Satyr’s most commanding vocal performances. Next up, To Your Brethren In The Dark is a glacial, stately call-to-arms aimed squarely at the misanthropic masses, the subtle melancholy that has long underpinned Satyricon’s music emerging in more blatant form. In contrast, The Ghost Of Rome is a succinct and oddly catchy four-to-the-floor goth-rock stomper, replete with haunting operatic backing vocals and an insistent lead guitar refrain. Best of the lot is the seven-minute Black Wings And Withering Gloom, wherein bleak blasting, bullying mid-paced momentum and Satyr’s scabrous delivery combine to mesmerising effect. Elsewhere, squalling sax briefly pushes Dissonant’s barrage of brooding aggro into avant-noise territory, one of innumerable moments on Deep Calleth Upon Deep when Satyricon sound like they have just tapped into a fresh well of inspiration and are determined to drain it dry.
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