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SATYRICON and The Unbearable Passion of Being

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.

Satyricon

Satyricon

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

Satyricon

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.

Satyricon

Satyricon

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.

Satyricon

Satyricon

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”.

Satyricon

Satyricon

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.

Satyricon

Satyricon

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.

Satyricon

Satyricon

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.

Satyricon

Satyricon

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.

Satyricon's Setlist

Satyricon’s Setlist

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.

Diana Chavdarova

(after The Dawn Of A New Age tour at Szene, Vienna, 19.4.2015)

SATYRICON обявиха съпорта си на предстоящото турне

През април Black Metal легендите SATYRICON предприемат турнето „The Dawn Of A New Age“, за да подкрепят предстоящото си концертно DVD, носещо заглавието „Live At The Opera“, което предстои да излезе чрез Napalm Records.

Като съпорт бяха обявени две групи от Осло: FAENSKAP и VREDEHAMMER. Изборът им не е случаен – SATYRICON винаги са се стараели да подкрепят родната си сцена като дават шанс на групите да пътуват с тях по турнета.

Satyricon - Live At The Opera

Satyricon – Live At The Opera

FAENSKAP са млада банда, подписала с Indie Recording. Самата група издава своя албум „Give credits where credits is due“, който е продуциран от Anders Odden (CADAVER, MEGENTA, ORDER, SATYRICON). Това привлича вниманието на Indie Recordings, сега групата работи по своя дебют за лейбъла. Те са подгрявали такива групи като MAYHEM, KVELERTAK, AVENGED SEVENFOLD и SATYRICON на концерти в Норвегия. Бандата смесва всички видове Metal в свой собствен музикален разствор.

VREDEHAMMER се предвожда от фронтмена Per Valla, който е бил част от различни екстремни банди като ALLFADER и ELITE.  Техният последен албум „Vinteroffer“ е номиниран в категорията за най-добър Metal албум за норвежката награда Spellemannprisen тази година. Те успешно смесват метъла от старата и модерната школа.

Ето и датите от „The Dawn Of A New Age“:

04.04.2015 NL – Nijmegen / Doornroosje
05.04.2015 FR – Oignies / Le Metaphone
06.04.2015 FR – Paris / La Machine
07.04.2015 UK – Manchester / Sound Control
08.04.2015 UK – London / Scala
10.04.2015 BEL – Durbuy / Durbuy Rock Festival
11.04.2015 GER – Bochum / Matrix
12.04.2015 GER – Wiesbaden / Schlachthof
13.04.2015 CZ – Prag / Akropolis
15.04.2015 GER – Munich / Bachstage Halle
16.04.2015 CH – Pratteln / Z7
17.04.2015 FR – Montbéliard / Impetus Festival
18.04.2015 IT – Pordenone / Deposito Giordano
19.04.2015 AT – Vienna / Szene
21.04.2015 PL – Warsaw / Progresja
22.04.2015 GER – Berlin / SO36
23.04.2015 GER – Leipzig / Werk 2
24.04.2015 GER – Hamburg / Markthalle
25.04.2015 SE – Malmö / KB
26.04.2015 SE – Stockholm / Nalen

news_satyricon_tour_2015

На 8 септември 2013 г. SATYRICON направиха специален концерт в Норвежката опера и балет, където свириха заедно с Хора на норвежката национална опера. Шоуто бе част от голям културен фестивал, провел се в Осло, и бе заснето професионално. Изданието „Live At The Opera“ ще излезе на 1 май на компакт диск и DVD чрез Napalm Records. Може да бъде видяна песента „Die By My Hand“.

Satyricon - Live At The Opera

Satyricon – Live At The Opera

SATYRICON in Berlin – a nostalgic flare… (and a Frost-esque reflection on music)

satyricon_05

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.

satyricon_12

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.

satyricon_13

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.

satyricon_28

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.“

satyricon_15

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.“

satyricon_26

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.

satyricon_31

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…

Diana Chavdarova

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.

satyricon_23

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.

satyricon_36

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.

Диана Чавдарова

Сатирикон, „Лидо“ – Берлин, 28.11.2013

SATYRICON “Satyricon”, Roadrunner 2013 – Залезът на боговете?

Satyricon - Satyricon

Satyricon – Satyricon

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.

Satyricon

Satyricon. Source: warnermusic.de

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
5. Phoenix
6. Walker Upon The Wind
7. Nekrohaven
8. Ageless Northern Spirit
9. The Infinity of Time and Space
10. Natt

Диана Чавдарова (6/10)

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SATYRICON „Satyricon“, Roadrunner 2013 – The Twilight of the Gods?

Satyricon - Satyricon

Satyricon – Satyricon

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.”

Satyricon

Satyricon. Source: warnermusic.de

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)

First track from „Satyricon“ is out

Satyricon - Satyricon

Satyricon – Satyricon

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.

Diana Chavdarova

Чуйте парче от новия SATYRICON

Satyricon - Satyricon

Satyricon – Satyricon

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.

Mrazek

Истерията около новия SATYRICON може да започне…

Satyricon - Satyricon

Satyricon – Satyricon

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!“

Satyr and Frost after the very final gig of the Age Of Nero tour, London, December 2009

Satyr и Frost след финалния концерт на Age Of Nero tour, Лондон, декември 2009 г.; снимка: Диана Чавдарова

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
05. Phoenix
06. Walker Upon The Wind
07. Nekrohaven
08. Ageless Northern Spirit
09. The Infinity Of Time And Space
10. Natt

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!..

Диана Чавдарова

Let the hysteria around SATYRICON’s „Satyricon“ commence…

Satyricon - Satyricon

Satyricon – Satyricon

There’s a month to go until the new, frantically yet patiently anticipated release by the Norwegian innovators. Here and there, a snippet from one of the songs can already be heard (http://lively.fm/song/61775/) – which makes us that much more hyped. SATYRICON did an awesome job at keeping the audience guessing, for almost four years – and now, we get a confirmation for Satyr’s words: „We have never done a record which captures the spirit of this band in such a way. Ever.“

The spirit of SATYRICON… we will no doubt follow his invitation and plunge into the intricacy of the record („…musically speaking, it’s a very atmospheric record… This record is full of life… It will demand a lot from you as a listener, but I know you will love it. It will grow on you and that is why it will stay with you forever.“). We prefer to abstain from futile genre qualifications, even though we are doubtless that „…a lot of surprises here, but it’s gonna be a record that’s gonna help the black metal movement perhaps find a new way for the future.“ We don’t want to define SATYRICON‘s potency, expression and identity, indeed their spirit, past what is rock’n’roll at its intensest. It’s an extreme celebration of being. Raw,  manic, refined, and limitless.

SATYRICON‘s overwhelming presence, whether we want it or not, sticks with us forever. We were lucky enough to be able to „stalk“ the band on their Age Of Nero tour. Some of us keep the burning memory of their unique Thessaloniki concert. We saw them in a number of European states. We experienced Satyr’s interesting sense of humour: „You’ve come from Bulgaria? Well, I’ve come from Oslo.“ In fact, SATYRICON deeply value their fans, which we can witness in Sigurd’s statement about the upcoming album: „We are back! Sorry it took so long, but we needed the time to be able to pull off a record like this. We won’t tour as much in the future as we used to, and that will just make every tour more special. This album and this tour is for you and ourselves. It is our moment!“

Satyr and Frost after the very final gig of the Age Of Nero tour, London, December 2009

Satyr and Frost after the very final gig of the Age Of Nero tour, London, December 2009; photo by Diana Chavdarova

On the official SATYRICON facebook page, one can easily acquaint themselves with the tourdates coming, purchase tickets, and of course pre-order the album, plus other fresh merchandise. The album comes in Red Transparent Vinyl, Clear Vinyl, Mixed Colour Vinyl, and Digipack CD, as follows:

01. Voice Of Shadows
02. Tro Og Kraft
03. Our World, It Rumbles Tonight
04. Nocturnal Flare
05. Phoenix
06. Walker Upon The Wind
07. Nekrohaven
08. Ageless Northern Spirit
09. The Infinity Of Time And Space
10. Natt

Limited-edition CD digipack bonus tracks:

11. Phoenix (Recording Session Mix)
12. Our World, It Rumbles Tonight (Deeper Low Mix)
13. Natt (Wet Mix)

In addition, 50 mindlessly lucky fans will get lyric sheets of Our World, It Rumbles Tonight, handwritten by Frost and signed by Frost and Satyr.

As usual, these exquisite perfectionists have a complete aesthetic concept. While Age Of Nero was obviously dedicated to pitch-black darkness, self-titled SATYRICON might kick us off into a warm, blazing twilight… a pleasure we do not rush to consummate, just yet.

Let it all be still ahead. „…it is SATYRICON; constantly on the move.“ Thank you for taking us along on this rollercoaster.

Diana Chavdarova

SATYRICON озаглавиха предстоящия си албум

Satyr, Satiricon

Satyr в студиото

По всичко изглежда, че норвежките екстремисти са готови да представят „ултимативната“ си творба, която ще озаглавят едноименно – „Satyricon“. Често в миналото те говореха за „завършване на цикъл“ – било то предишната си трилогия или въобще цикъл на творчество. Без да спекулираме, представянето на албума на 8 септември с Норвежката филхармония и 55-членен хор, би било достойно представяне и за самия Вагнер, на когото тази година се чества 200 години от рождението.

Диана Чавдарова

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