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Album Reviews : Satyricon – The Age of Nero

By on March 15, 2009

Satyricon unleash to the masses ‘The Age of Nero‘, the bands seventh studio album. On listening to it, many would consider it a return to form, while others would call it “regurgitated garbage”.

To me, Satyricon haven’t really changed their overall sound from their past two releases, ‘Volcano‘ and ‘Now, Diabolical‘.

When listening to ‘The Age of Nero‘ you get a similar feeling to their previous two albums – a distinct black metal sound infused with hard rock elements.

The past two releases saw both Frost and Satyr venture into a new daring territory for the black metal genre. However the drums, guitars and Satyr’s vocals don’t seem to have progressed any further on the new album, to that of their past two albums.

While there are some minor tweaks here and there on the new album, at the end of the day, it’s just straight forward new age black metal release. Many would see this as a downfall for the band though, releasing an album which is so similar in sound and style compared to their last two releases.

Personally though, the emphasis of “if its not broken, don’t fix it” plays a big role on the new album. Songs like ‘Commando‘ and ‘The Sign of the Trident‘ bring in the traditional elements of the “new” Satyricon, yet still holds a distinct tone to the over all fell of the album.

If you enjoyed the extent of ‘Volcano‘ and ‘Now, Diabolical‘, you’ll easily enjoy the new release.  However, there are times when the album does feel alittle light on its conception of more complex songs, and in turn may leave fans alittle disappointed, wanting a much darker and heavier album.

One thing which sets this album aside from previous Satyricon releases is the pace at which its played. The majority of the album is quite melodic and slow in its delivery, so if you’re a die hard fast paced, full attack black metal fan, you may come a little agitated at times throughout the album, as both,  Satyr and Frost have approached the album on a much more subtle level.

I’m sure many fans would like to see Satyricon go back to their black metal roots and create something in the vain of “Dark Medieval Times“, yet the chances of that happening may be very slim at this point.

To be honest though, I’m quite content with the new album. Its not as hard hitting or explosive as when ‘Volcano‘ was released, nor as experimental as their earlier albums, but it still packs a punch.

I was impressed with the overall fell of the album as they have continued to dominate their trademark sound, yet not seeing Satyricon venture into more hostile waters has questioned my thoughts of the band recently.

I would have liked to see them evolve their sound a little more, yet from a musical stand point this album is much like the new Metallica, its good and has some good songs, but it doesn’t really showcase what the band can really do live, nor if they went back to their roots.

If you’re expecting a black metal masterpiece, look elsewhere. This album clearly has made its mark in the black metal community, but is not Satyricon‘s best material to date. There are some pretty solid songs on the album,  like ‘Commando‘ which kicks the album straight into full gear, while things come to a complete halt with the  melodic undertone of the track “The Wolfpack“, which sounds awfully similar to Satryricon‘s 2006 single, ‘K.I.N.G‘ from the album ‘Now, Diabolical‘.

Satyricon have come to be known as quite stubborn when releasing new material. ‘The Age of Nero‘ may not be to everyone’s liking, but its a typical Satyricon release which will be easily digested by many long time fans who appreciate their bold outlook of the black metal genre.  7/10

Band: Satyricon
Album: The Age of Nero
Year: 2008
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Roadrunner
Origin: Oslo, Norway
www.myspace.com/satyricon

Tracklisting:

1. Commando
2. The Wolfpack
3. Black Crow on the Tombstone
4. Die by My Hand
5. My Skin is Cold
6. The Sign of the Trident <- Reviewer’s Choice
7. Last Man Standing
8. Den Siste

About

Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal Obsession.net. When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook