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HARDWARES

SATYRICON

Satyricon

(Nuclear Blast)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 6.0

There are a couple of things that are immediately noticeable about this latest SATYRICON record, the band's eighth, before you even listen to it: 1) it's self-titled, which is usually a firm statement of purpose from the band in question indicating that this is an album they are particularly proud of, and believe to be strong, hence the title being the group's name itself; and, 2) in direct contrast to METALLICA circa Load, Satyr has actually grown his hair back and has moved away from his Armani-esque suits of the last number of years, suits that have indicated his penchant for flash and adulation (then again, adding 'icon' to your stage name will give away the adulation thing too, and in far more unsubtle ways). Over the last decade Satyricon has explored commercial black metal, pop pageantry ('Fuel For Hatred' is the greatest radio rock track the mainstream doesn't know about), the most basic of heavy metal and, most frustratingly, songs that are - let's be honest here - just really goddamn un-engaging. Are you telling me you made it through The Age Of Nero without having attention span issues? I think not.

Let the record show that we're disappointed to report that Satyricon has continued its bizarre infatuation with underwhelming, uninspiring and uninvolved music and has graced us with probably the most un-compelling record of its career, both Satyr and Frost sounding like they've got nothing better to do so they might as well put together a record, or whatever, if they feel like it, maybe, sort of, kind of. To be fair, it's beyond cool that this album is recorded in analog, because it's that sort of philosophical return to the roots that can make a late-career album engaging and affecting, and using analog in an era when you don't have to in any sense indicates dedication to craft and form. But, for the love of God, this album only truly starts at track six (!), the fiery 'Walker Upon The Wind', and its first five songs are amongst the most tepid we've heard this year. That said, 'Ageless Northern Spirit' is, along with 'Walker Upon The Wind', amongst the moments where Satyr and Frost sound like they're not sleepwalking, but 'Nekrohaven' is such a B-level retread of 'K.I.N.G.' that one can only shake their head in confusion. If Satyricon had executed an entire album along the impressive lines of 'Ageless Northern Spirit' and 'Walker Upon The Wind' (or even 'The Infinity Of Time And Space''s mid-section), we might finally have a worthwhile addition to what has very much become a wilting catalogue. Why this record is self-titled is inexplicable, blatantly or otherwise.




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