I think it’s useless, and a waste of time, to make a full introduction on Satyricon. This Norwegian duo (Frost and Satyr Wongraven) is Elite in different aspects. I still consider their earliest works, and their debut full length Dark Medieval Times more specifically, as CULT, but since they turned into a rather Post-Black oriented form of Musical Extremism, they reached a wider audience; but still they deserve it.
Satyricon’s newest full length, nameless (or self-called, if you want to), has been recorded at different studios, and it lasts for 66.7 minutes (no kidding) - isn’t that evil???... The album opens with the instrumental guitar-oriented intro Voice Of Shadows, which brings a mixture of melody and epic. Indeed, a Satyricon-trademark since the earliest years. It’s a nice introduction to Tro Og Kraft, also bringing forth (and back) the characterising sound courtesy of this Norwegian act. What strikes me, however, is the more tranquil and calm approach (mind the floating intermezzo at the beginning of the second half of this song). It’s not because of the slower tempo, but the song lacks of heaviness and power. Yet again, it comes closer to the band’s mid-nineties era than most of the stuff done afterwards, when it comes to song structure and atmosphere. Our World, It Rumbles Tonight is little heavier. It’s an up-tempo track with attention for technical craftsmanship, but it can’t convince when searching for the morbid battle-lust by the band’s earlier efforts. Nocturnal Flare sort of combines Satyricon’s earlier years with the Post-approach they developed throughout the last years, but once again lacking of balls. Sorry, dear reader, but as you might notice, I am not pleased. But believe me, it gets worse! Phoenix, the next composition, opens with a riff that isn’t that bad at all. But then suddenly, a guest singer starts contributing. Sivert Høyem probably is not a bad vocalist, but his melodic, slightly dull and bitching, complaining voice has nothing to do with Satyricon. WTF??? Besides, the melody bores the sh*t out of me. Is this some kind of Pop-Metal ballad? Oink??? Walker Upon The Wind, luckily, is much more interesting for the ‘fans’, and it might the most intense track on the album, with recognizable riffs and rhythms. The short song Nekroheaven too is acceptable, even though the melodies are rather catchy, and the leads are even too grooving, I think, and the following track, Ageless Northern Spirit, exhales for sure the spirit of the Megiddo-era. Unfortunately not as enthralling again… The Infinity Of Time And Space might be the most varying song on this album, with some intense parts, a couple of integer excerpts, and specific moments in between. Sometimes it thrills and trembles, then again it shamelessly (and sadly) floats away from bravery and valor. Natt, finally, is an instrumental song with, again, nothing interesting at all.
If you’re lucky / unlucky, you might find, accidently, the edition with bonus songs: the rough mix recording session version of Phoenix (skip it!), the ‘deeper low mix’ of Our World, It Rumbles Tonight (what extra does it bring? I have no idea), and the so-called ‘wet mix’ of outro Natt (why, oh why?).
I am really disappointed by this album. I don’t get it, I can’t understand why Satyr and Frost decided to record, and release, this album. There’s nothing wrong with ‘change’ or progression whatsoever, but this album does not captivate at all. It’s not because there are a couple of less-interesting parts; it’s a complete recording with scarcely moments of majesty and glory. Regrettable!!!