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Satyricon, live in London

Support: Oslo Faenskap, Vredehammer

Package tours are a curious entity; some make complete sense, while some leave a lot to be desired, and Satyricon’s current tour somehow falls into both categories. Openers Vredehammer [7] suit the headliners much more than Oslo Faenskap [6], but who are we to judge? The bands are there for a reason and with being Norwegian, they add an eclectic taste to the evening. Both support acts put on energetic and memorable performances… but sadly not for the same reasons. Vredehammer tow a fine line in blackened death metal and despite their short time on stage they leave a good impression on the slightly small crowd. It’s a tad worrying as the venue looks as deserted as it is, but any concerns are put to one side as the Norwegians pummel their way through their set time.

Oslo Faenskap, on the other hand, and despite having some fine moments, fall a little flat. In truth, this is not their audience, but the young band do their level best to make an impression. Some moments are wonderful, with gorgeous clean sections rising above the heavier elements, but unfortunately it’s not a style that works for many of the crowd tonight. They’re of the moment, for sure, but Satyricon fans are left wanting something with a little more bite.

Touted as The Dawn Of A New Age Tour, Satyricon’s current mind-set is certainly in the space for newer material and the self-titled Satyricon from last year has seen them heading for a more modern slant on black metal and expanding their original sound tenfold. The Norwegians have been at it for a long time, and they’re savvy enough to know that their fans now want to hear music circa 2006 and Now, Diabolical, rather than something from the darker era of the band. And that’s a-ok. Satyricon [9] are a phenomenal live band and tonight’s two hour set takes in new sounds and the occasional older track that more seasoned fans would appreciate.

The stage tonight is stripped back with the biggest nods to Satyricon’s black metal style in Frost’s outrageously horned drumkit, and frontman Satyr’s custom mic stand but otherwise it’s a simple look which feels decidedly more intimate despite the venue size. It seems to take Satyr a little while to look relaxed but when he hits his stride, Satyricon become fire. Our World, It Rumbles Tonight builds into Now, Diabolical, to Black Crow on a Tombstone and onwards to a ferocious Filthgrinder. The set follows suit and older songs are woven into the set with Walk The Path Of Sorrow sitting comfortably between newer compositions and sounding as vital as it did 20 years ago. The previous evening in Manchester, the audience were treated to a rendition of Dead Kennedy’s Holiday In Cambodia, something which, sadly, is missing tonight, but true to their social media word, the band invite a fan on stage to play with them and what follows is a wonderful, intuitive section of ambient post-metal style landscapes – huge props to the fan in question, Jason, for braving Satyricon’s crowd and giving the band a chance to shine in a different way.

Of course, the evening must come to an end and with an incredible catalogue to pull from, classics find their way back into the fray. With Ravenous Hunger and a beautiful Mother North signalling the end – but not before the crowd scream their utter approval and bay for more. Satyricon oblige and a raging Fuel For Hatred and K.I.N.G. bring the night to a close. If this were a seated show, the band would be in receipt of a standing ovation. Satyricon are in the dawn of a new age… long may they triumph.

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Setlist

The Rite Of Our Cross Our World, It Rumbles Tonight Now, Diabolical Black Crow On A Tombstone Filthgrinder The Dawn Of A New Age Ageless Northern Spirit Walk The Path Of Sorrow A New Enemy Die By My Hand The Infinity Of Time And Space The Pentagram Burns The Wolfpack With Ravenous Hunger Jam with Jason Ludwig Mother North Fuel For Hatred K.I.N.G.