17 April 2006
by Raziq Rauf
It’s exciting to see that the most progressive genre around right now is also, by far, the least accessible and the one most people will quite rightly refer to as “scary”. Norwegian stalwarts Satyricon have always looked to further themselves by leading the black metal scene.
2002’s Volcano spawned a song that almost proved to be their breakthrough. ‘Fuel For Hatred’ took an undeniably more commercial route through the ruinous metal world by blending the edges with deeper, more rock ‘n’ roll-based grooves and lyrics that were less introspective and put across with a gentler inflection.
This new direction appears to have been agreed upon and followed wholeheartedly in Now, Diabolical. While veterans of their audience may turn their noses up at the first whiff of evolution in their sound, many others will be able to appreciate how their esoteric sound rises above and beyond the majority of the form that is understood as Heavy Metal.
There is an unsettling brutality merged with riffs that have an intangible, immediate nature. The title track, opening the record, almost canters through but the sound invades your senses with a sense of unyielding impending violence that follows through the first half of the album.
The constant languid nature of this record is thankfully peppered with the ghoulish explosion of ‘The Rite Of Our Cross’ and the epic, marauding ‘To The Mountains’ closing the album after sending shivers through your mind. To suggest that this band is at the pinnacle of their career would be to acknowledge the complexity and superiority shown here. They are untouchable in their field right now.
Watch the video to ‘K.I.N.G’ by Satyricon
With their sixth album, Satyr and Frost have created an album that follows a most unpredictable route. Weaving a long and unwieldy musical path that takes you so very far without you realising it. The fluidity of the record means that it is often unclear where songs begin and end and there is a disorienting feeling where you expect the next track, but the edges blur and the same song almost begins again.
This record keeps you on your toes by making you really listen. Satyricon do not make background music for the weak-hearted and Now, Diabolical is a case in point.
Sounds like: Norway, danger without the d
Top tracks: The Rite Of Our Cross, Now Diabolical
Satyricon – Now Diabolical tracklisting
The Pentagram Burns
A New Enemy
The Rite Of Our Cross
That Darkness Shall Be Eternal
To The Mountains
Storm (Of The Destroyer)