Satyricon – The Age Of Nero

The Age Of Nero is the most recent full length by Satyricon. It’s the third installment of a triptych, formed by Volcano and Now, Diabolical. Those albums are very much from the same mindset, but are quite different from each other as well. A thing I’ve come to expect from Satyr and Frost. Let’s take a closer look at what The Age Of Nero has to offer.

This album shares the complexity of Volcano, while retaining the song writing prowess of Now, Diabolical. It has the best of both worlds so to speak. Luckily Frost is allowed to show his drumming skills again, however I would still describe his parts as rather functional. The main strength of The Age Of Nero is Satyr’s ability to conjure up some intelligently crafted songs that seem pretty straightforward at first, but prove to have multiple layers when they finally sink in.

This is certainly the case with Commando, The Wolfpack, Black Crow On A Tombstone and My Skin Is Cold. As on its predecessor there are some carefully integrated brass sections, most notably on Den Siste. Another great feature is the right mixture of barely hidden aggression and a cold sinister feel, which sets Satyricon apart from its peers.

The production is raw, yet very precise, giving The Age Of Nero a dirty, yet crisp sound. It may not satisfy black metal purists, but then again Satyricon is never about giving in to people who still think that every black metal record should sound like Darkthrone’s Panzerfaust or Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.

The Age Of Nero by Satyricon is another shining example of Satyr’s and Frost’s forward thinking take on black metal. It’s dirty, it’s intelligent, but most of all a very memorable and thoroughly enjoyable experience. I can’t wait for the next step in the band’s evolution!

written by Raymond Westland

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