Satyricon
The Age of Nero

Based on the My Skin is Cold EP earlier year, I had hopes that perhaps Satyricon would start stepping out of the sterile little comfort zone they’ve created for themselves of late. Maybe a little more textural or structural variety, or perhaps just something with a faster tempo. I wasn’t expecting the return of The Shadowthrone or anything, but given how similar Now, Diabolical was to Volcano, I didn’t want to hear those albums recycled again.

Too bad.

If you’ve heard those albums, you can pretty much predict what you’ll get here as well. Snarling vocals with short, clipped prose. Most songs are mid-tempo grinds built around a few simple, cycling riffs. Some are quite catchy for awhile (best one: “Black Crown on a Tombstone”). A few tracks slow to smoky, miserable dirges. Only one (“Die by My Hand”) manages a quick tempo at all. And yes, there’s a feral, unadorned purity to the sound – some call it black n’ roll but I don’t think it’s anything quite so cheeky.

However, after a few tracks, it always seems time to move on to something else. Or else you realize that the album has already finished playing while you got busy doing or thinking about something else.

The Age of Nero is a great title – if you know the old adage, you’d expect the maniacal soundtrack to a city’s fiery destruction. Instead, this is the sound of a city at a standstill. I hope Satyr and Frost find their inspiration again for the next one. It’s time for another reinvention.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
December 8th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Great job on this review, seems balanced and sincere. Here’s hoping they get out of their black n roll phase and create something new akin to when I first heard Nemesis Divina. Back to the drawing board, Satyr and Frost.


  2. Commented by: Dan

    Damn! “Black Crown on a Tombstone” is the best song? Fuck, I thought it was lame as blue balls when I heard it.


  3. Commented by: Cynicgods

    I think the least worst one is Die By My Hand but really, there are no “best ones” in this album.


  4. Commented by: battleface

    I really like ‘Den Sidste’ and ‘Wolfpack’ but the rest of the album feels a bit too… sterile? And the way Satyr is singing does get a bit on my nerves after a while.
    A bit too staccato for my liking.

    For me, Satyricon will always be Mother North with a nude Monika Bråten running around in the norwegian forests.
    Hail Nemesis Divina.


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