AGE OF NERO
REVIEW BY OLA
Satyricon- “The Age Of Nero”
Released: 13/01/2009 (North America)
It is certain that Satyricon’s sound has somewhat evolved compared to previous albums that are perceived to be much more grim. Fear not, True Norwegian Black Metallers, for Satyricon are STILL Satyricon. The band may look a little bit more mainstream these days, but that doesn’t mean that their sound is any less metal.
The Age Of Nero is the follow up to 2006’s Now Diabolical and was recorded at Sound City studios in Van Nuys, California where Metallica recorded their latest: Death Magnetic. The production quality isn’t low-fi at all, which leaves some old-school black metal fans to question how legit this album really is. But here is the cold, grim truth: most of the album was written in a forest cabin with the help of legendary Snorre Ruch of the band Thorns.
‘Commando’ starts the album off with heavy guitar riffs and Frost’s renowned blastbeats. ‘The Wolfpack’ is evocative of Now Diabolical’s epic, ‘K.I.N.G.’ which is arguably the most appealing track. The album’s single ‘Black Crow On A Tombstone’ may bear a cliché title but the musicality of the song is very strong, also making it a catchy one. Some aspects of ‘Die By My Hand’ appear to be grindcore-influenced, with a slightly accelerated tempo. This album also features ‘My Skin Is Cold’, although it is not the same track featured on Satyricon’s EP of the same name released last year. As described by Frost, this version has a more “weird and mysterious” feel to it.
As the album reaches the last few songs, ‘The Sign of the Trident’ and ‘Last Man Standing’ have moderate tempos, are quite melodic and stimulate the feel of this album as a whole. Finally, the album ends with ‘Den Siste’ a song that is not only innovative due to involving what seem to be brass instruments in some areas, but it is the final track that truly defines the dark sound of what is Satyricon.
Satyricon may not follow the traditional rules of black metal anymore, but that doesn’t make them any less popular. They know how to write an enticing song, and sometimes that’s the most significant factor in music. May the songs involve forests, black crows, bloodshot eyes or metal skin, Satyricon will tackle it all.
RATING: 7 out of 10