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В неделя след полунощ водещият на “Фрактура” – Васко Катинчаров ще ни срещне с Frost (SATYRICON), DECAPITATED и SOUNDGARDEN. Отново няколко видео премиери, както и разнообразните рубрики на най-старото телевизионно предаване за рок и метъл у нас.
На 29 септември (Diema, 24:00 ч.) в аудио-визуалната “Фрактура” ще бъде направена премиера на новите клипове на WHITESNAKE, INSOMNIUM, LEPROUS и SONATA ARCTICA.
Пред камерите на Васко Катинчаров ще застане Frost (SATYRICON) и ще си припомним какви истории разказaха DECAPITATED за българските фенове. Ще бъде излъчен концерт на SOUNDGARDEN и репортаж от шведския фестивал “Sweden Rock”.
Зрителите ще научат последните музикални новини от седмицата, в рубриката “Караоке” ще пеят заедно c METALLICA, HALESTORM ще правят кавър на LED ZEPPELIN, класическата песен ще бъде нa MR. BIG, в “Exotic“ ще бъдат представени UNITE, a в рубриката “Live Archive” ще си припомним кадри от гостуването на Tarja Turunen в България през 2010 г. Клипове, концертни и акустични изпълнения на CRASHDIET, HAMMERFALL, GHOST и INFLICT също ще намерят място в настоящото издание на шоуто.
Предаването Фрактура се излъчва по телевизия Diema в неделя от 24:00 ч. с пълно повторение всеки петък от 00:30 ч.
Пианистът и композитор Jem Godfrey замисля проекта FROST* като Progressive Rock супер група през 2004 г. и кани за участие членове на британските формации ARENA, KINO и IQ.
Това начинание променя своя облик през годините с поредица от разформироване и възраждане (включващи музиканти като John Jowitt, Andy Edwards, John Boyes, Declan Burke, Nick D’Virgilio, Alex Thomas), докато през май 2016 г. се появява техният трети студиен албум “Falling Satellites“ („Падащи сателити“).
В новия състав този път виждаме имената на китариста John Mitchell (ARENA, LONELY ROBOT, IT BITES), барабаниста Craig Blundell (STEVEN WILSON) и бас китариста Nathan King (LEVEL 42). Албумът съдържа 11 песни, като последните 6 оформят сюитата „Sunlight“ („Слънчева светлина“) и тук особено ще откроя свиренето на китариста Joe Satriani.
Jem Godfrey споделя в интервю, че концепцията на албума е: „.. в този случай – животът. Това е албум за моята криза на средната възраст. Целият албум е послание да се наслаждавате на живота, докато ви има. Баща ми почина 4 седмици, преди да приключа с „Falling Satellites“ и внезапно осъзнах колко кратък всъщност е животът. Беше протакал с години издаването на книгата, която винаги искаше да напише, когато умря. И сега тя никога няма да бъде завършена, а това ме накара да осъзная, че всяка една секунда да бъдеш жив е безценна. Целият албум е за това – прави това, което си искал да правиш през годините и го направи сега! „
Албума “Falling Satellites“ или „Падащи сателити“ ще чуем в предаването “Картини от една изложба” на програма “Хоризонт” на БНР в събота, 10 декември, след новините от 21:00 ч.
SATYRICON have long been defining – and defying – just what that thing might be, “black metal”. They define it by their very background, while defying the prevailing, largely unreflected notions the conservative metal scene loves to stick by.
SATYRICON’s statement is of Black Metal as the indefinable, the obscure energies that pierce through us, while demanding their musical expression. Black and bottomless in their epistemological obscurity, the solitary existential hero is resolved at bringing them to artistic shape.
An intellectual framework is essential for understanding black metal, namely the black metal of which Satyricon maintains to be prime source and example. Indeed, there are no other tamers of energy like Satyricon, not swerving an inch from the pit of their inspiration.
There is simply no drummer like Frost. And Frost’s monstrous tribal power is situated within an intricate structure, provided by the band leader/composer.
What is unique about SATYRICON, and in our humble opinion puts them in a position above all, is the interplay of contemplation and aggression, which they deliver organically. While in other masterful bands (e.g. Enslaved, but also the whole tradition of “dark” and/or extreme progressive metal) these dialectics are apparent in the counterpoint of dreamlike versus harsh lines, there’s no telling apart of both these aspects in SATYRICON’s music. Both sides are at fine interplay here, but in reality indistinguishable. SATYRICON is meltingly intense with the cool awareness of passion being the mistress to rule their act.
SATYRICON are warriors of sincerity. The battle for the Truth black metal has had as its slogan, is but a battle for ourselves. And while this might sound trivial, it must not have been easy for Satyr to free himself from the burden of demands placed upon him. Metal fanatics could crush any aspiring, sensitive, ingenious artist with their narrowness. It is interesting to note that many artists have broken out of punk rock and into their unbounded artistic legitimacy, while metal artists’ vastly valuable but slightly different projects have been spitefully crushed and the artists’ wings broken.
Black Metal, in its individualistic pathos, can afford not to care. If the “genre” (in big inverted commas) can be defined by anything, it is the downright resentment of limits. This all important message SATYRICON has made sure to reiterate verbally, as well as musically. If you want to know what black metal is, refer to SATYRICON. Name it very, very intense rock music, and also be safe – while being aware “rock’n’roll” is but a Negro euphemism for libido. Black metal should then be the act of ultimate liberation of these ecstatic, violent potencies.
In the musical manifestation of SATYRICON, everything’s allowed. This is a progressive band in the most authentic sense. From the early outlines of black metal as genre, through the complex compositional infernalia of Rebel Extravaganza, from there transitioning into the works in the overall frame of “rhythm-and-metal” (popularly referred to black’n’roll, that notion not exhausting Satyricon’s exploration of slightly more minimalistic limits), and to the lush contemplation of their last studio delivery, this is a band the seriousness of whose music has culminated in its choral arrangement with Live At The Opera.
Whether chorally and orchestrally emphasized, or delivered in underground clubs, Satyricon’s music is equally poignant. It is Romantic per se. In the club where the author of these lines had the privilege of seeing them, our souls were torn out.
The atmosphere of sunset warmth the last studio album emitted somehow pervaded the show. There was no pretense, no showing of muscles, and no lustrous image. There was simply the promise: we’re here, and we’re not leaving without you.
The pre-history of such a commitment would be the extensive tour the band did in 2008/9, which left them pressed by the expectations and demand of their product, so successfully executed. It might have been that the imposing artistic output of 2008’s Nero had distanced Satyr from his soulful calling. The mantra of the “truth” in art, of the inseparability of art and existence, rings loud within the artist. It is down with grandiose presentation and all about essence now – a delight for the fan who is interested in the psyche of the loved artist, rather than in hearing “the old songs”.
What is not to love about Satyr – the perpetual wink in the eye, the occasional clumsiness, the intolerance for ignorance, the uncompromising professionalism, not least the vulnerability and surrender to her majesty, the Music. There’s no need for an artistic mask, for there’s nothing more compelling than the man in his integrity, who, after exploring his diverse aspects in consecutive albums, is now giving us himself. There are art-rock greats that are entertainers. There are prophets of humanity like the blues masters, who enamor us by wearing their hearts on their sleeve, skipping intellectual distance.
Satyr has chosen to be the latter kind. His doom might not be much different from the heavy-hanging blues, and he is now showing us that his musicianship and interaction with the audience are marked by a warm spontaneity not unlike the very first originators’ of our genre: making one feel at home, wanted, and liberated. There’s no menace in SATYRICON any longer, there’s the need to be together, and a passionate appeal for the audience to participate. The “existential fear questions” have seemingly dissolved, and with our newly embraced strength, we can get down. There’s no “us” and “them” anymore; the extremity of genuine expression celebrates our communion. It was a feeling like no other to scream the lines together with Satyr. The concert was a gift, and the musical gems – and jams – deeply appreciated.
The soundscape seemed subdued, while enthralling in its tension. SATYRICON are such masters. There’s hardly anything about them which hasn’t been thought out in great depth. The lighting was also impressive, reflecting the atmosphere. It felt like a continuation of the tour for “Satyricon” (2013), an album which has been underplayed live, and perhaps needed longer time to take root.
The setlist was a wisely calculated balance between all albums, with other underplayed songs able to render the fan ecstatic.
Shortly after the intro, the gripping Rite Of Our Cross sets in. Satyr’s vocal phrase cuts through, but unlike the sharpness of Metal God Halford, there are the roughs of a blunt edge that sting. I cannot get enough of Satyr’s vocals, and would have undoubtedly placed him at Number One in a recently published chart of Best Extreme Metal Vocalists by a popular magazine. “Fear!”, “Rage!”, “Lust!”, the spat-out lines cannonade.
The density is somewhat relieved through the amplitudes of the three subsequent songs (Our World, Diabolical, Crow), allowing us to merge with the dynamics, and eventually prepare for another burner: Filthgrinder. The tentative “act two” of the set brings more of the new, followed by an input of the old, getting the “die-hard” traditional fans fully onboard.
The logical center of the concert consists in another three pieces, namely A New Enemy, Die By My Hand, and Infinity Of Time And Space.
A New Enemy deserves a whole chapter of its own. It is a song which Frost himself has claimed “a favourite”, a vessel of that “magical energy”. The fan will forever be puzzled why the song has hardly been played live in the past few years. It was Frost’s playground, his field to deploy all the powers that work within – powers known only to him, but tangible and elating to all. The response was quick, the room illuminated by the audience’s exaltation.
Die by My Hand introduced keyboard sampling of the band’s choral arrangement for the Opera. Disappointingly but predictably, it didn’t work quite well. It never does – and here’s for hoping Satyricon does as many more live orchestral collaborations as it truly deserves. The song carries intricate dynamism which the choir in the Opera performance lifts and emphasizes – as it does Satyr’s genius in general. In a rock’n’roll setting, however, the song is best left speaking as originally intended.
Infinity Of Time and Space launched us into Satyr’s introspective dreamscape. It was a breath of space, and an allowance of time to sneak into the artist’s intimate withdrawal. After favourites such as Pentagram, the artist formally announced his defiance of being “entertainer”, and his fondness of free jamming – an inclination the more perceptive of his audience have witnessed throughout.
There were the audience’s favourites still to follow and challenge our necks, with Repined’s absence being felt on this tour. Another thrilling piece I seem to be missing, is Nocturnal Flare; and it would just be brilliant if SATYRICON revived The Scorn Torrent in the future.
The overall feel was indeed that of jamming. Of unassuming unpretense. Of being one with the fan. Of being a fan. I didn’t sense a distance between Satyr’s banging head and mine, between the band’s timing and the audience’s.
And this is what leaves blissful expressions on people’s faces. Metal legends or otherwise. The Dawn Of A New Age tour has, by all accounts, been nothing short of a declaration of mutual love.
(after The Dawn Of A New Age tour at Szene, Vienna, 19.4.2015)
It is quite difficult to describe the feeling of seeing Satyricon live after four years; with a period of more than a year (2008-2009) having been dominated by them through the extensive and explosive Age Of Nero tour. The emotion is, of course, personal to begin with. The band do have their loyal and passionate – even fanatical – following; to the extent of a young man banging on the tourbus door after the gig in Berlin: „I must meet Frost!“… After all, we ourselves waited for hours to meet the band in the cold November night. The layers of personal memories and the excitement of a gathering long overdue, are there. In addition – and more objectively – we must definitively state this is a band ingenious. Precisely the reason we took the ‘trouble’ of flying from Sofia to Berlin for this gig.
I must say I was a bit apprehensive. Having attended the ‘Nero’ tour about ten times, I was secretly hoping for the same sweeping energy; furthermore, I was curious how the controversial new record would be delivered live in its intricacies, anticipating a resolution of what to make of the record. ‘Satyricon’ (2013) certainly carries the flair of nostalgia. That sweet feeling of decadence, of autumn, of twilight, and ultimately of maturity. On the one hand, a feeling burdened with the experiences of the past, carrying on their undertones, producing a richness of expression. On the other, nostalgia could be a feeling of loss, of generally being devoid of the past and its content.
While my emotion is highly subjective, I was seeking that presence, that fullness in the Berlin delivery; and what I got, is rather complex to describe. The concert began quite differently from what I’ve witnessed on the Nero tour. There was that definite overtone of the ‘old school’, which seems to also characterize the new record. Surely, a majority of fans are happy with precisely that. ‘Satyricon’, if summarized laconically, is perhaps a gift for them. I suppose these fans have not sensed the depletion of energy, of punch and a power, which devotees to the past decade of Satyricon would expect. Most would go with the ‘Mother North’ flow, and they would be right in themselves. But I was anxious in my expectation of Now Diabolical: the song that blew me off every time I heard it. This time… it did not. The vibe did not pick up. I was puzzled by how deplete of energy the opener to the marvelous Satyricon 2006 could sound.
Luckily, the songwriting gem that followed, namely Black Crow, delivered. I was ready to be immersed in more musical splendor. I couldn’t wait to hear whether my impression of Nocturnal Flare being the best song off the new album, would be confirmed. I was hoping that other songs would also deliver. To cut a long story short, the concert stood on three pillars: Black Crow, Nocturnal Flare, and To The Mountains. The rest was a more or less lax (or laid back) musicianship, far too melodic guitars, and catchy tunes, e.g. Nekrohaven, Fuel For Hatred, King (mind you, Fuel could – and have been – a blast in the past, but here it also sounded routine). Sadly (very sadly!), we did not get Repined Bastard Nation: a tune which I cannot imagine being played without madness.
Around the dancy post-punk feel of the gig, revolved and intersected the aforementioned feel of the ‘old days’, with four songs from pre-Rebel albums, and the sumptuous Our World It Rumbles, Infinity Of Time And Space. I was curious what I would get from the latter, but no, it definitely didn’t have the groove and magnetism of Nocturnal Flare. All in all, even Pentagram Burns struggled to be dynamic. Density did not characterize this concert; however, I was content with the quality that three rock-solid songs delivered. There needn’t be that manic feel anymore (and surely, we’re all getting older), in order for a song to be intense. Intensity is brought just by the quality of songwriting and the rendition. Sometimes I wonder whether Satyr realizes – or cares, even – about his compositional genius. With an effort, more Nocturnal Flares could have come out of Satyricon 2013, instead of the wandering through territories not immanent to Satyricon (‘progressive’ black metal in the vein of Enslaved, etc.). All criticism aside, I would rush to see the band again, not sparing any means. I can’t, however, free myself from the feeling that music is no longer Satyr’s main passion. Like Michael Caine gives an impression that rather than being on camera, he’d prefer to be lounging in his London restaurant smoking a Bolivar, it seems Satyr would rather be somewhere else.
I’d like to thank the guys for being kind enough to sign autographs, and Frost particularly, for the warm and responsive vibe I always get from him. And could it be otherwise, with the man who once said: „It’s a passion for music that has brought me and us to devote our lives to Satyricon. You can always try to analyze this further and see that music in a way is tied to life and vitality but I haven’t really brought the thought or analysis that far. I just know and I feel that there’s passion for music and I observe that music invokes very strong things and very strong feeling in me. It pulls strings and being a performer myself it feels like the only way I could go. I cannot really even think of my life as something detached from music now. Ten years ago perhaps I could but not any more and passion for music must be what does it. I cannot conceive of it differently.“
Also in 2009: „As far as black metal in general goes, I simply think it has gone through a perfectly natural evolution. There is really nothing dramatic with what has happened. It has grown and matured and gotten more complex just like any living organism. But a revolution rather than just slow evolution is now called for, I think.“
„Different people have different needs and aspirations in life. I am much more strongly linked to music than (…) an established life. This is the reason why I have dedicated so much of me to the music.“
I humbly think that passion in itself is a revolution, an antidote to establishment per se. In the light of all the recent Satyricon’s statements that the 2013 album should „pave the way for the future of black metal“, I hardly think the genre follows a linear movement. There are a few unique bands (Samael, Enslaved etc.) who have followed their own line of evolution, with passion always being the unifying moment, the base to which everything could be reduced – a base resolutely extreme, unambiguously intelligent, yet running far deeper than the conscious.
To summarize, Satyricon may have lost their edge (or are taking a break from walking that thin line which makes a good performance astonishing), but they will always be known for the rich, rather hermetic, completely unique (and certainly ‘progressive’) compositions, together with a first class live delivery. A world of their own we hope will never crumble.
The darkness shall be forever, the beautiful darkness…
Satyricon, Berlin, Lido, 28.11.2013
С нетърпение очаквах да чуя какво ще ни предложат „Сатирикон“ след бомбастичния тур, след дългото затишие и последвал нееднозначен албум. Чудех се дали впечатленията ми от албума биха се затвърдили. С една дума, оказа се, че да.
Почти няма следа от суровата енергия от предишни албуми и турнета. Концертът в Берлин започна лежерно и „олдскуул“, с интро от новия албум, последвано от Hvite Krists Dod. Now Diabolical, която досега винаги ме е разбивала, шокиращо мина някак незабелязано. Black Crow ме грабна – това просто е великолепно парче. Оказа се, че концертът се крепи на три пилона: Black Crow, Nocturnal Flare, To The Mountains. Nocturnal, любимо ми от новия албум, звучи още по-прекрасно на живо.
Запитах се: защо ли Сатир не се уповава повече на композиторския си гений? Какво е целял с откровено комерсиалния „Сатирикон“ 2013? От една страна, явно да погъделичка олдскуул феновете, а от друга, тези на които се нравят пост-пънк ритмите и мелодиите на King, Nekrohaven. Дори Fuel звучеше слабо. Много се надявах да чуя Repined, но не би. Infinity Of Time And Space не звучеше инслейвдски, а също й липсваше интензитет и динамика. Като цяло китарите бяха твърде мелодични, а музицирането – рехаво. Мисля, че за Сатир музиката просто е престанала да бъде приоритет.
След доста мръзнене до турбуса, се сдобихме и с автографи. Фрост бе особено мил, както винаги. Дано групата продължи да има фанатични фенове… като младежа, блъскащ по вратата на буса: „Трябва да се видя с Фрост!“, който зарази и случайно минаващ възрастен гражданин не съвсем с всичкия си, и последният взе да приглася: „Искам Фрост!“… Като цяло, доста забавна и ведра картинка. Нека споменем и любезните германски фенове, които не пропуснаха да се зарадват, че сме дошли чак от България, и пратиха поздрави на милата ни родина.
Сатирикон, „Лидо“ – Берлин, 28.11.2013
Не е лесно да подходиш към новия SATYRICON след години фенство. Най-очакваният албум в последно време, както маса метъл фенове бе споделяла. Сатир ни накара да чакаме и се надяваме почти на чудо, както бе прозвучало от неговата уста през далечната 2009-та: “Ще бъде една нова ера”.
Със сигурност е твърде рано да отсъждаме. Въпросът е дали да се доверим на артиста: “Албумът ще ви влезе под кожата и ще остане завинаги”.
Началната ми реакция след прослушването на сингъла (“Our World It Rumbles Tonight”) бе: еклектика. Не съм фен на този естетически подход, особено след четирите последни Сатирикон-а, които се стремяха към консолидираност.
Как така чувам, в едно парче, “Metal Church – Ton Of Bricks”, ведно с явни пасажи от поне две песни от “Nemesis Divina” и “Now Diabolical” съответно; всичко това съчетано с промени на темпото и дисонантни китари които сякаш се стремят да ни отдалечат от структурата на парчето, вместо обратно… (В този смисъл, паралели с ENSLAVED, появили се в множество отзиви онлайн, са неадекватни).
И по-нататък в албума сме свидетели на интерлюдии, сякаш целящи да ни отдалечат от песенната структура, вместо да й служат – огромен отстъп от идеологията на последната “трилогия” на групата, както и от класическата композиция изобщо, за чийто метъл-гений бе прокламиран Сатир.
Вместо свободата, обемът, динамиката да се разгръщат в творбата, тук имаме един вид бягство.
От какво бяга творецът? Дали самоналожените усилия от последните 10-15 години са били твърде много? Дали не иска да си почине?
Ами да, Сатир изглежда отегчен. По-зрял? Различен? Със сигурност, днес метъл-музиката не е неговата стихия.
Колкото до “духа на Сатирикон”, за който той твърди, че в въплътен в новата творба: моето усещане е, че магията бе там някъде, в “Now Diabolical”, в “A New Enemy”… в песни цялостни, идеални – и затова магнетични. Ако щете, епиката бе в Die “By My Hand”, експанзията в “Supersonic Journey”, интензитетът в “Black Lava”, злобата в “The Scorn Torrent”…
А къде остава широко рекламираната днес “органика”? Може би, в дълбокия гърлен вокал – пронизващ ушите със стържене и дъх, с хитра артикулация и подчертаваща я продукция. “Nocturnal Flare” единствено се доближава до типичното преди години за SATYRICON съвършенство – всеки детайл пипнат с прецизност, всеки тон и инструмент влизащ в парчето със смисъл, цел и настроение. Ето затова си струва, може би, целият албум.
Пропуснете ник-кейвските забежки във “Phoenix”… “Nekrohaven” е пънк-рок без пънча на “Repined” и “Fuel”; „Walker Upon The Wind“ продължава в подобен дух, а „Ageless Northern Spirit“ е слушаемо, освен заради носталгия по познатия Сатирикон, заради Фрост – все още биещото сърце на тази група.
The “Infinity Of Time And Space” обобщава атмосферата: отвлечен ембиънт, вид дуум, и Сатир напяващ познати мизантропски и милитаристични фрази; всичко това преливащо се, в “Natt”, в някаква архе-романтика. („Infinity…“ добавя и „прогресивен“ елемент, като тук паралели с ENSLAVED не са изключени.)
Меланхоличен романтик ли е Сатир? Най-вероятно. Дали албумът е метъл? Друг въпрос. “Странен, но хубав албум”, каза Мразек.
Странното за мен е как меланхолията се бори с героичната маска. Двете отчетливи страни на „Сатирикон“, пък и на други пост-блек групи – агресията и контемплативността – остават да си противоречат. Какъв е тогава импулсът за създаването на творбата? Не го изяснява и самият автор: „Наистина ми допадаше да правя компактни блек-метъл песни, базирани на рок-музиката, но в един момент ми се прииска нещо различно. Не знаех какво точно ще е то и отчаяно се опитвах да разбера, но впоследствие забелязах, че не се получава, така че се отказах. Ще ми се получи когато му дойде времето.“ А аз не мога да се отърся от усещането за скука, тягостност, сглобеност. Песните са пълни с клишета от метъла (и не само); разчита се на стари лаври, противно на обещанието за иновация. „Сатирикон“ дори не е пъзел, а някакъв Франкенщайн. Сякаш създателят му е имал сили и идеи за част от песен, а някой друг е добавял останалото, по различно време, в тези три години на създаването на творбата.
Освен нас феновете, дали и Фрост, отдал “живота и здравето” си на групата през последните десет години, не е останал излъган? Завладяващите, плътни, отчетливи барабани на бласт-бийт легендата – заради които даваме сравнително висока оценка на албума – са гръбнакът на нещо, което може да се опише като MY DYING BRIDE в почивен ден, взели назаем лирики от пауър-метъла.
1. Voice of Shadows
2. Tro og Kraft
3. Our World, It Rumbles Tonight
4. Nocturnal Flare
6. Walker Upon The Wind
8. Ageless Northern Spirit
9. The Infinity of Time and Space
Диана Чавдарова (6/10)
It is far from easy to approach this new Satyricon record, which numerous metal fans said had been more anticipated than any other. Satyr surely did a great job in keeping us guessing, while promising us an outcome cornerstone-significant: no less than “the dawn of a new age”.
It is perhaps too early to judge the outcome. We’d have to trust the artist in that the album would “grow on the listener, and stay forever”. However, we have been listening fervently, attentively, and an early opinion is urging out.
My initial reaction following the single (Our World It Rumbles Tonight) was: eclecticism. I am not a fan of that aesthetic approach, and especially following the last four Satyricon records which clearly sought consolidation.
How could it be that, in one song, I heard Metal Church’s Ton Of Bricks, plus clear references to songs from both Nemesis Divina and Now, Diabolical (at least); this topped with tempo changes and dissonant guitars which seemed to interrupt the song, rather than contribute to its tension (and thus, parallels with Enslaved as suggested in some online reviews, are less than adequate).
It would prove the album would offer interludes as if meant to break from the song structure, rather than cater for it: the opposite to the line of Satyricon’s past “trilogy”.
Instead of building volume, dynamics and energy within a structure – as the case with the trilogy – here is an outward direction. Not an expansion – but almost an escapism.
I see nothing “epic” about this new record, contrary to many a metal fan (to whom that definition, whatever it entails, seems essential). It’s hard to think of even Supersonic Journey or To The Mountains in that term, for Satyricon of the past 15 years promoted an element of hermeticism. The Age Of Nero, however, saw an expansion, and there we got that energy unfold into a true epos such as Die By My Hand. Whenever I seek to expand, I will return to that.
What is the composer escaping now? Did the restraints of the past 10-15 years prove too much? Is he finding a new sort of comfort?
He does seem eased-out. But how does that relate to metal music, which finds its essence in a state of unease?
The first three tracks of the record thus sound formulaic, put together like pieces of a puzzle. There’s a huge talk of “atmosphere” among fans – atmosphere maybe, but not the thrilling energy which infiltrated songs such as A New Enemy – songs which spell perfection, and, in my subjective perception, deliver “the spirit of Satyricon”.
The author’s explanation, if I understand correctly, is that this is the summary of a career, and a homecoming of sorts.
True – in the opening track (Tro Og Kraft) after the initial (Voice Of Shadows) instrumental, there’s the distinct feel of the “old times”. But since I never acquainted myself with the genre at its peak, nor do I have a bias for nostalgia or history (or feel that these should be a driving force in creation), all I sense within that song – and the next – is a certain naivety. No, I’m unfair… there are touching folklore melodies which lead into the album’s further, exalting sentiment.
I knew there was to be a song which would grab me: instantly, and not “in the course of time”. Grab, and hold “forever” – with intensity, romantic pathos, and that X-factor which makes me crave and return to it time and again.
Nocturnal Flare – enough to give this record five stars. Here, any talk of under-production could cease. Satyr’s roar and breath cut directly into the ear, blatantly raw yet refined; articulation intricate; each detail touched with precision and serving the whole. An accomplished, thus enthralling song which is my epitome of “Satyricon” and the atmosphere promised. It’s intimate, attesting to the maturity of the record. If we have to determine to which older album it refers in terms of sound, it has to be Volcano – with the addition that the vocals on „Satyricon“ are deeper, harsher – the hit in that analogue approach in recording. Satyr here may not be furious – but he is sinister, haunting, possessive.
Nocturnal Flare flows beautifully into an early-maiden reference: lyrical, melancholic, dark and sticky as black metal itself.
And what is black metal – the genre whose future Satyricon have claimed they would map with their self-title? A question as tricky as the genre itself.
Black metal may well be all contained within Di’anno’s Maiden – and unless I have misunderstood, that could be part of Satyr’s feel as well.
Add to that Frost’s elaboration:
“… it’s a music genre that’s creative itself, it’s very open; it’s not really defined by strictly musical technical characteristics, it’s defined more by the atmosphere, the moods, the vibes. You could mix in lots of elements. Of course, for it to be black metal, there should be dominant metal elements, but apart from that you are very free to bring in elements from all different sorts of music, bring in unconventional instruments, and you could go as far as making almost purely electronic or drone-based music and still call it black metal, because it still adds to metal and evidently it comes from there. There’s a danger in that as well, because it might lose all contact with its origins and the roots. Usually it’s very important to have a strong touch with the roots, as well as developing and bringing the whole genre further, which is what we do; but no matter what, I think that this kind of creativity and the openness that I see at the bottom of the genre, is a very good thing, even if it is misunderstood and misused by lots of bands.”
To be more specific, what is Satyricon’s black metal? Satyr’s roar, intricate riffs, ingenious melodies, and Frost’s voluptious, muscular and articulate drumming. As Frost’s confidence as a musician grew, he became core to the band’s identity – its most organic part – pumping up life into the record from its first ceremonial tones and into the faster pieces down the road.
Meanwhile, there’s Phoenix – a pleasant creation, even though maybe nick-cave-generic… at least to someone unacquainted with the genre, like myself, and finding interest in Depeche Mode rather than “typical” dark-wave.
Nekrohaven is the blackened punk-rock I’ve always loved from Satyricon. Their straight rhythms and lines are igniting, and I’m happy they have not abandoned that ostensibly simple quality in this “summary” of a record, even without the punch of Repined and Fuel, and with a less than interesting solo guitar. Walker Upon The Wind retains a similar mode, and Ageless Northern Spirit, apart from the nostalgic „classic-Satyricon“ flair, brings more delectable drumming. The Infinity Of Time And Space elaborates on what has been the album’s atmosphere: dreamy dark ambient, and doomish metal, and that guttural vocal chanting the usual misanthropic and militaristic words/phrases in a catchy chorus – all that with a touch of “progressiveness”. An Enslaved parallel in this particular song is not devoid of reason; however, Enslaved have done a career out of organically bringing together their aggressive and contemplative sides – something we don’t see Satyricon even touching upon, despite the pretense made. Are Satyricon authentic in their yearning, or in their testosterone-fueled power? I don’t see the duality either resolving, or remaining intensely opposed; however, I sense less zest and more sorrow.
Satyricon is… whatever you make of it. (“It is strange but I like it”, says our editor.) Question is – is this the Twilight Of The Gods?… We hope not, although “Satyricon”’s overall feel might fall into an oxymoron with the “meta-language” (the interviews) convincing us into the band’s activism. Natt (the outro) moves the subdued ambiance into a further twilight… and the dreamy innocence we so much need. Still, I do not get this sorrowful piece as a whole. I would gladly leave it unjudged, but since some points need to be given, I assign 6, largely due to Frost’s input.
Diana Chavdarova (6/10)
„Confessions of a drummer“ – a joint interview with Frost of Satyricon by Diana Chavdarova and Madelen Engeseth of Scream Magazine (Norway). The article is published in Norwegian in the June 2010 issue of the same magazine. Photo by Madelen Engeseth.
Logic and disciplined thought are apparent in all of your statements. What is your formal education?
Well, says Frost, I’m actually an engineer, but that’s an education I’ve never made use of. I took a course in Computer Science at Oslo University, graduating with an engineering degree. I sort of thought that I might combine that kind of work where I had great mobility and flexibility, with Satyricon. When I undertook those studies, Satyricon had begun to grow to some extent. So I thought, given the market situation in those days, that I would be able to get a job anytime with an IT-education. Thought I could get well paid temporary jobs in between the Satyricon tours. However, things turned out differently by the time I was finished. Education was really worthless. There weren’t many jobs and any chance for the newly graduated to get them, not to mention temporary jobs and such. It is quite a sleeping title I have, he says.
Why choose music as your occupation?
To answer that, we must look into what happened in 1992. I had actually put my drumsticks on the shelf, and thought that I should remain a devoted fan rather than a musician, since that was how I viewed myself. I had played drums for some years, but not taken it that far. I didn’t think of myself as a musician, even though I had a tremendous interest in music and had already chosen black metal as my lifestyle. I thought that some people had to be fans as well – that’s how I pictured the whole thing. Then it happened that Satyr had mentioned to Bard Faust that Satyricon needed a drummer. I knew Faust well from Lillehammer, we had both lived there and even played together some time earlier. (Frost catches his breath…) So, Faust brought us together, and Satyr and I decided that I should audition for Satyricon – it was the end of 1992. I didn’t feel I was particularly good; I hadn’t played in months, either. I was rusty in addition to being bad,Frost says with a smile. It wasn’t a very impressive scenario, really, but Satyr and the two others that were in Satyricon at the time saw some kind of potential in my playing. They probably felt there was something special about my sound, a character and aggression maybe. The type of fuel they needed. They wanted to hear more and didn’t give up, so I thought I should capitalize on this. I began to practice like a beast. Seized the opportunity, and the rest is history as they say. This isn’t quite true, however, because I continued to pursue music as a passionate hobby for years. In 2003, I decided that I should start seeing myself as a musician. Up until then, I didn’t. I thought of myself more as a fan that ran away with music.However, I have always had little interest in the geeky aspects of having music as more than just a hobby. I haven’t studied other drummers, haven’t had any role models. I have not been so fanatically concerned with my own instrument. For me, the guitar has always played a greater role in the sound as a whole. I’m not exactly the type that would use my spare time to brush cymbals and wax my drum kit, he laughs. It was probably more in later years that I really started to dig what other drummers were doing, and listen to different types of music to find solutions for what works and what doesn’t. It was probably more to broaden my horizons and better myself at my instrument. So, the answer is twofold – I took an important step in 1992, and another equally important recently.
You demonstrate, in your statements and playing, two opposite sides: one of structure and logic and another of instinct and intensity. How do you balance them, and is one stronger than the other?
I suppose that the latter was stronger at first, because then I didn’t reflect much on what I was doing. I was really just driven by my interest in music, and playing drums was a way to show it actively. It has over time become a natural consequence that music felt like a great part of my life and I felt that I lived and breathed for it, but without being a musician with capital M.
I let myself be more or less guided by my own dedication, rather than systematically working to improve myself technically, analyze my own task and so on. I probably have a lot more balance between those things now. It is an insight that has to do with my desire in recent years to seriously improve myself. I feel that perhaps there is a potential there that can and should be exploited. To do so, I need discipline and I need structure, I need a way to bring that in. However, the violent and somewhat animalistic drive that I have while I’m playing will always be there. It is habitual and a part of my way of being. If I feel that it isn’t there anymore, I think I will lose all motivation to play.
What part of your personality is most organically expressed in your cooperation with Satyr, and do you feel that your cooperation with him is more creatively liberating than that with any other artist?
To answer the latter first, I will say both yes and no. Accordingly, the way I work in Satyricon is much different from the way I work in 1349. In Satyricon I work with a very creative person. I think of him as the greatest composer the black metal scene has today, and so it is logical for me to devote myself to that. To complete his compositions and be a part of his creative work also spurs me to think in a creative way. I have to complete his creativity by demonstrating creativity on my own instrument. We want Satyricon to be creative, and that should be present on all levels. He has stimulated me to think creatively, and to see others develop and be innovative does something for me too. Satyr will often sit playing the guitar while I play drums, and then we will get into a productive track and keep on. We then are both creative and it is stimulating.
1349 is creative in a slightly different manner: there are less limitations and as a rule I myself decide everything that comes to the drums. I have total control of the rhythmic side of 1349 – then I get to use the natural creativity that I have. 1349 has a very good band spirit that is motivating and inspiring in itself. I can’t say that I prefer one band over the other, because these are two different ways of working. I am very happy that I have these two different bands – one where I’m completely free and I can let things bubble and boil over, and one where another person controls much of the development.
What specific aspects of your contribution to Satyricon fuel your passion for music?
It is hard to say anything other than that it should be all about the drumming, and it is by necessity a wholistic picture. To devote myself to Satyricon the way I have done and put my entire soul into my playing.
Have you reached a point where you could lead a project of your own?
Yes, I have written and arranged music for 1349 for example. Wrote lyrics even. But that doesn’t mean that I lead the band. It is like that in Satyricon too – at times I will lead the live-band. I lead the rehearsals and decide when we should meet, the points of focus, what songs to play etc. In a different way, I take the lead in 1349 when I feel necessary. It is open for everyone to do that in the band. However, I do it mostly when it comes to arranging music and developing specific concepts. I will never be the leader of a band and I have no wish to have a band of my own.
You have said in an interview that “black metal has been evolving like any living organism, but the time has come for a revolution”. Could you please elaborate?
Yes, I can. I think that we have reached a point where something much more radical should happen, than has been the case in the past 10-15 years. The bands that front the whole black metal scene today are basically the same bands that were the leading players about 15 years ago. Besides that, there are projects that have been started by that generation. There are some new and good bands that have come forth recently, but in my opinion they resemble in all major aspects the bands from our generation. That is still the leading concept.It’s almost as if the new bands that emerge have to sound like old Darkthrone, Bathory or early Immortal to break through, while those who created the scene and built the foundations of what we have today, were very creative and did something that had never been done before. That was the way with Venom, Celtic Frost and Bathory. And when Norwegian bands came and revitalized an almost dead scene in the 90s, they also created something new that hadn’t been there before. This was the case with ”A Blaze in the Nothern Sky” by Darkthrone, Burzum, old Immortal, etc. Even if their references were obvious, they contributed with something new to a genre that was very radical. That’s what I feel we need now. I think that things have stagnated so much, that it is urgent for something like that to happen again to signify that the genre would continue to live. It’s become so old and stiff, with a nasty tendency to be repetitive and unoriginal, while it should be a creative and tremendously brute force. It has very little sting and it becomes conservative. And that is not good, he says smiling. So we need a bunch of 16-18 year olds that are really, genuinely black metal – something which is unlike anything else. Anything that’s more than just incredible speed or authentic sound.
Your decision to devote your life to music seems to have been taken recently. Could you specify the time and circumstances around it?
It would be difficult, he thinks before continuing. I came to that decision in 2004, and I guess I began to think about in 2003. In 2004, I decided this was the way I wanted things to be. From then on I would start seeing myself as a musician. I feel that there is a responsibility there as well.
As your skill level and confidence increased during your career, has your view changed on the importance of drums in song structure?
Yes, very much so. What I have learned recently is that assessing one’s own role is fucking important. Indeed, it is essential for every musician. But I wish I had learned that earlier. I think that in old Satyricon I did too much, played too much. I paid too much focus and attention, which ruined the drive of the songs. I should have allowed more room for the guitar and vocals in many places. There needn’t be anything wrong with fierce intensity or dense information, but you should always consider whether it is appropriate or not. This I have begun to realize recently, and I think it has pulled me further than many a technical success.
You often say that you ”still live the black metal lifestyle”. What does that entail?
It is a bit obscure, but I discovered around 90-91, he says thoughtfully, that the whole aura I perceived as black metal was damn appealing. I went to Helvete, for the first time in 90 or 91. Then everything was black, it was obscure. There were religious symbols, St Peter’s crosses, cat dolls with blood painted across their eyes, bullet belts and so on. And people had a dark aura that came with the spikes and long black hair and the whole package. It really got me. I thought: ”this is it”. Young people often search for an identity, without necessarily being aware of it. I guess I did, too. It came as a flash – there was finally something I could identify with. It was very strong; I realized this was the way it was going to be, without thinking of the consequences or what I was going to do. I was in, I already had black clothes and an inverted cross hung around my neck and so on. But there’s something more to it. I think I was very aware of the dark atmospheres and how much they meant to me. The clothing style I can still call my own. In 1349 I grow a bit traditional with leather and spikes, trying to take it far and make it grim. I have strong intuition for what works in that world. I like to experience the dark world that arises, and really make things right in order for black metal and other dark music to work.
What kind of literature has influenced you, and how?
I don’t know if there’s any piece of literature that has directly influenced my musicality. All that one reads will surely have an impact, and it might to some extent emerge in the style of playing. However, it would be more on a subconscious level. I read some cult literature, because I find it fascinating. The human subconscious is a very exciting field and that is exactly what magic is about. In addition, I think that Aleister Crowley has a very elegant style of writing. I like several books by Brett Easton Ellis, largely because of the language, as much as the plots. I love his language. He has been very lucky with the translations of his books into Norwegian. I have read ”American Psycho” in both Norwegian and English – it works very well in both languages. I think there are many clever translating solutions in Norwegian. So, these are excellent books. How literature has affected me, I don’t really know, I don’t think that way in relation to literature. The things I choose to read, the things I choose to listen to, and the way I express myself when I play, may all represent different sides of me. I am not sure whether these sides influence each other. I won’t deny the possibility.
Do you have favourite films and TV series?
I will highlight Eraserhead as my favourite film. This must have been David Lynch’s first real movie. It is completely outstanding. Very dark and dystopic. Lots of surrealism that he has given a shape and that I like very much. I have a deep sense of David Lynch and the way he relates to ideas and the human subconscious in a very successful way. He has no trouble completely devoting himself to abstract ideas to which he gives a cinematic shape, while at the same time placing them in a rather regular film context. I think the way he works with colours and filters is completely outstanding. The nightmarish mood in Eraserhead is probably what I rank the highest.There’s the feeling when I watch a David Lynch film that works within my mind. I understand him on some level even though I sometimes lose track, but at the same time it is just fascinating, he smiles. To see how he can create moods and cinematic art that you do not necessarily understand, but like a lot – I feel very inspired by seeing such things.You also mentioned TV series, and it’s obvious there must be Twin Peaks. Especially the first eight episodes, and the final. I like the series in its entirety and the characters he created. It’s absolutely brilliant.
You have the groove of a jazz drummer. To what extent do you appreciate jazz? What types of music do you listen to nowadays?
As a matter of fact, at the moment I listen a lot to a band that could be categorized as jazz, Bohren und der Club of Gore from Germany. It is basically a slow jazz band that operates on the borders of black, tenacious dark jazz, ambient and tafelmusik. All of their albums are very good. It is darker than…all black metal there is. People who are familiar with the jazz-like themes of Angelo Badalamenti, film music-maker who has worked closely with David Lynch for many years, would probably nod in recognition to much of Bohren’s music.
Do you have other artistic talents, for example design, drawing, etc.?
I wouldn’t take it that far. I have made a few rather simple designs. I used to do some logo drawing and stuff like that many years ago. I don’t do that much anymore. It was more of an interest I had in my teens, maybe in my early 20s. Now I feel I haven’t the time to dedicate myself to anything other than drumming, which is more than a big enough task in itself. Now and then, it is fun to draw a little – I usually draw patterns, symbols and logos. I think it would be fun to work a little on the guitar, too. It would have been great to be a guitarist, because I would like to write more music; I have already written some on guitar, but I can’t really play the instrument. That is a creative obstacle, obviously.
Have possibilities for commercial success played any role in your participation in a project and the direction you want the music to take?
Then I would have paved my own downfall. I work so that the bands I am in, go further, and the two bands in which I participate are Satyricon and 1349 – it is that simple. When we create music and visual concepts, anything artistic, we just do what we want, what we think is right. What fits the project that we’re working on. We follow our own taste. When things are done we will do our best to bring it as far as we can. He contemplates. In order to dedicate ourselves to what we do, we are obviously dependent on making money out of it. However, we will never whore ourselves, or we better just call it a day. I think it’s a good thing to work to get your records out.
Could you say that Satyricon is mentally challenging to you, while 1349 is emotionally challenging?
Well,he smiles. I can understand what you mean, in a way. In another way it is really the same thing. However, in regard to “mentally challenging”, I think that the way I play in Satyricon has come to be a lot about groove and taking things down, making it simple. It is much more mentally than physically demanding, and it is in many ways maybe heavier. In 1349, it is really hard work, and to be able to have that drive all the time, you have to be emotionally involved. I have an aggressive drive which arises spontaneously when I sit behind the drum kit, regardless of what I’m playing really, for better or worse. When I play with 1349, however, I invoke it additionally. That brings forth a lot of red energy in my direction. It is both a mental and an emotional thing. He thinks for a second.It is very important, that is. A sheer technical approach would not work for me at all.
To what extent are you involved in composing music and lyrics for 1349 in the last two albums?
As for ”Revelations of the Black Flame”, I didn’t write music for that album; however, I worked very creatively with the rhythm on the three regular metal songs. ”Maggot Fetus/Teeth Like Thorns” was a song I got perfect musical contact with. It was a damn kick to work with it and I still think it is one of 1349’s best songs – simple and straightforward but still evocative and special. The title of the album was mine by the way; the night it emerged I just had to forget about sleep. I think the dark, twisted and eerie atmosphere of ”Revelations…” is superb. On ”Demonoir”, I have contributed with an odd theme and worked a lot with arrangements and structuring. In addition, I wrote the lyrics to the title track. But above all, I put a lot of effort into the drumming solutions; I had the idea that the album should be incredibly dark, intense and violent, and I saw it as a task to substantiate with my drumming. It was all an exhausting affair, both to create and perform much of the material. The concept of viewing the songs as qliphotic stations or levels and linking them together with intros and intermezzos – which we call tunnels – was also mine. I see ”Demonoir” as an album with qliphotic moods – I link it with the tree of death according to the Kabbalistic tradition – and death is comprised of three stations that are connected with tunnels; Seth’s tunnels. These musical tunnels on “Demonoir” contribute greatly to give the album its twisted, dark and sinister atmosphere, and above all bind the individual tracks together into a whole. I like albums with a strong sense of unity. You should feel that when you enter the Demonoir world, you are not out until you have gone through the entire album.
Do you get many offers from bands who want you to join forces with them?
There are the requests, but most people recognize that I am busy with what I do. Even if I can do other projects, I prefer to dedicate myself to what I am doing. I never get into things without giving a bit of myself. At least I have to find something that I like. I have decided to keep things at a minimum; there is no extra time or spare energy. I have decided to prioritize the two bands I am in now. I will not do anything that interferes with the work I do there.
Can you think of musicians that you have not yet worked with, but you’d like to do so in the future?
Nobody in particular. I feel that I have a very exciting future both in Satyricon and 1349. I think that the two bands themselves are exciting instruments for musical expression. With the qualities the bands have now, I think it’s exciting to see how they evolve, and take an active part in it. That is big, Frost concludes, leaving us grateful and inspired.
So there we have it, the first song from the new SATYRICON album to hit cyberspace (http://tindeck.com/listen/dlda).
What strikes me: it does sound organic. It’s as if the endless “old vs new” arguments (if we could name them so) should finally dissolve. Here it is, the SATYRICON spirit. There’s probably some “old” and some “new”, but their dialectics are blended indiscriminately complete. There’s nothing much to analyze. Some expectations are gratified more than others, and maybe pre-Volcano fans are happier. But let’s not judge the book by its cover, and let’s keep an open mind (and heart) in the month ahead; moreover, “surprises” are promised… At any rate, we’re looking forward to both the record and the live shows, which always proved to set the air ablaze.
More anticipations of the new SATYRICON album HERE.
В интернет пространството се появи първото парче „Our World, It Rumbles Tonight“ от новия албум на SATYRICON, озаглавен „Satyricon“. Можете да го чуете на следния адрес http://tindeck.com/listen/dlda
Повече за новия албум можете да прочетете ТУК.
Остава месец до рилийза на новия, едноименен албум на норвежките иноватори. На места (http://lively.fm/song/61775/) вече може да се чуе част от парчето им Our World, It Rumbles Tonight – което и ни дава повод за екстремна възбуда. Никой не знаеше какво да очаква от групата след почти четиригодишното затишие – и ето, оправдават се сякаш думите на Сатир: „Не сме правили албум, който по този начин да улавя духа на групата. Никога.“
Духът на SATYRICON… несъмнено, ще приемем поканата и се потопим в албума („…това е един много атмосферичен албум… пълен с живот… той ще изисква много от вас като слушатели, но знам, че ще се влюбите в него… ще ви влее под кожата и затова ще остане с вас завинаги.“)
Ще се въздържим обаче от безплодни жанрови квалификации, макар да не се съмняваме, че: „Налице са много изненади, но албумът може би ще помогне на блекметъл движението да намери нови пътища за в бъдеще.“ Не искаме да дефинираме артистичната потенция на групата отвъд това, което е рокенрол в най-интензивната му експресия. SATYRICON е екстремен празник. Зли, сурови, маниакални, изтънчени и безгранични.
Така е – яркото и завладяващо присъствие на SATYRICON е с нас завинаги.
Имахме късмета да „преследваме“ групата на последното им турне. Някои от нас още имат пламенен спомен от уникалния им концерт в Солун. Гледахме ги и в няколко други западноевропейски страни. Изпитахме чувството за хумор на Сатир, когато му се представихме: „Идвате от България? Е, аз пък идвам от Осло„. Всъщност, SATYRICON изключително ценят феновете си, за което свидетелства и изявлението на Сигурд по повод предстоящия албум: „Върнахме се! Съжаляваме, че отне отлкова време, но то ни беше нужно, за да извадим подобен албум. За в бъдеще няма да пътуваме толкова много – което и прави предстоящото турне още по-специално. Този албум и това турне са за нас и за вас. Това е нашият момент!“
На официалната фейсбук-страница на SATYRICON можете лесно да се осведомите за предстоящите европейски дати, да закупите билети – както и, разбира се, да поръчате предварително новия албум и друг мърчъндайз. Самият албум се предлага във вариантите Red Transparent Vinyl, Clear Vinyl, Mixed Colour Vinyl и Digipack CD с бонус три алтернативни микса, както следва:
01. Voice Of Shadows
02. Tro Og Kraft
03. Our World, It Rumbles Tonight
04. Nocturnal Flare
06. Walker Upon The Wind
08. Ageless Northern Spirit
09. The Infinity Of Time And Space
Limited-edition CD digipack bonus tracks:
11. Phoenix (Recording Session Mix)
12. Our World, It Rumbles Tonight (Deeper Low Mix)
13. Natt (Wet Mix)
В допълнение, 50 щастливи фена ще получат ръкопис от Фрост, подписан от Фрост и Сатир, с текста на Our World, It Rumbles Tonight.
Както винаги, изящните перфекционисти SATYRICON имат цялостна естетическа концепция. Докато AoN беше по подразбиране подчинен на черния мрак, то едноименният албум изглежда ни отпраща към един топъл, пламтящ заник, с цялото удоволствие, което би го съпътствало – и което за нас предстои…
„Това е SATYRICON: винаги в движение“, казва Сатир. Щастливи сме да сме част от въртележката!..