Satyricon: Satyricon

Norse gods reclaim the shadow throne

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Five long years after the release of The Age Of Nero, Satyricon are back in typically imperious style, their ongoing determination to glorify black metal’s rock’n’roll roots writ large across every moment of this pointedly self-titled return to destructive action.

Satyr’s supreme confidence has always been this band’s central driving force and these songs crackle with haughty intensity, not to mention a newfound melodic sensibility that adds freshness to the pummelling Panzer-grind of the album’s most straightforward assaults, like nailed-on live favourite Our World, It Rumbles Tonight. It is also indecently exciting to hear Satyricon sounding as vicious as they do on Walker Upon The Wind, wherein the band stray from their preferred mid-pace and rediscover their mastery of the blackened blast.

But it is the subtle details and detours that make Satyricon such a thrilling revelation: the sudden dynamic shifts and eerie elegance of opener Tro Og Kraft, the somnambulant surge and lissom melancholy of Phoenix – with its startling use of guest clean vocals – and the towering bravado and abrasive insistence of eight-minute epic The Infinity Of Time And Space all suggest that the Norwegians are still gaining strength as they once again redefine what it means to harness the power of darkness.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.