The Age of Nero review by Satyricon

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  • Released: Nov 3, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (40 votes)
Satyricon: The Age of Nero
1

Sound — 8
Don't be surprised if even the most baby fine hairs on the back of your neck or along your arms stand on end when listening to Satyricon's utterly demonic The Age of Nero. Satyricon, lead by the always nefarious vocalist Satyr (who wasn't even an original member) and drummer Frost, eschew the wink-wink, nudge-nudge element of Satanism and the dark arts that other black metal bands traffic in. The duo also keeps a lid on the atmospheric keyboards that are a black metal hallmark; rather than allowing the sampling and melodies of the instrument to overtake the music, Satyricon uses keys in a much more subtle and ultimately effective method. As far as black metal bands go, Satyricon are the real deal, firing off occult-themed anthems like nuclear warheads on The Age of Nero. There band avoids the shitty, recorded in a tin can production quality that a plethora of its peers prefer in favor of a crisper, relatively speaking, sound. Here, there are plenty of vicious riffs that are the sonic equivalent of receiving a pair of brass knuckles across the face, but for the most part, Satyr and Frost focus on the groove, which the long hairs always love. The Wolfpack and a both feature rolling, Pantera-like guitar work, which makes the songs, dare I say, accessible? The diehards and elitists needn't worry, however; Satyricon maintains that kvlt black metal quality on The Age of Nero. It's a nasty, gnarly record from start to finish, with a percussive thunder that's almost militaristic in nature, thanks to the kinetic energy produced by Frost's blast beats, hair-on-fire drumming and Satyr's stormy riffs.

Lyrics — 8
It wouldn't be a black metal record without lyrics that are steered by an interest in mysticism and that reference other assorted dark topics and things, like crows, bloody sin, snow-covered mountains, demons, daggers and other predatory issues. Satyr barks as though he gargled with a cocktail of rubbing alcohol, vinegar, whiskey and razor blades before spewing and spitting his lyrics with the sort of venom normally reserved for those who occupy the depths of hell. It's not so much what Satyr is singing about that intrigues the listener; it's how he sings in, in a uniquely throaty shriek that can leave those with weak constitutions cowering in the corner. Satyr screams as though possessed by Lucifer and it more than fits the music that he and Frost have designed to be so thoroughly blackened and of course, completely metallic. The Age of Nero doesn't go the Christ-hating route either. Rather, the band spins slightly more generic tales of the occult and the underworld. The most brilliant thing about The Age of Nero? The CD tray card boasts the phrase, When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. It's food for thought, especially for those who may steer clear of black metal for its Satanic associations. So start chomping!

Overall Impression — 8
Sure, the purists may call attention to the fact that Satyricon aren't as bone chilling or as godless as other church burning Scandinavian black metallists. That doesn't change the fact that The Age of Nero is sonically blacker than ash and blends all of the genre's necessary ingredients into a cohesive record that doesn't scrimp on brutality. Black metal takes a step forward thanks to Satyricon on this album.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    boyan89
    I'll be sure to check this out, Satyricon have never disappointed me :].
    huevos
    duncang wrote: Does that mean every black metal band has to have Ihsahn in it?
    It should be mandatory!
    JoakimArnberg
    I liked this album very much, not like the old Satyricon but it sure is great. I have the Norwegian Special edition of this album - very recomended.
    metallipath6
    lol, Satyr joined in 1991 right after the band started. Also 1 year before Frost joined, and 2 years before Dark Medieval Times was even released. I think we owe it to him to include him as a founding member.
    metalgearcore
    KING is type of song which many can tell came out of satyr's ass... its a bore... and its practically nothing... mother north, immortality passion, filthgringer, in the mist by the hills... those are the ones to remember... i so ****in wish they went back to their roots...
    TheConjuration
    Teh Wheelz wrote: Have never heard of them before, but this review has me psyched.
    Don't get your hopes up. Satyricon are very bland.
    Dany3391
    how about abbath? and Immortal.. I think they have great use of Synths.. Anyway.. I'll be sure to buy this album.. allready heard three of the songs live before the album came out lol
    Infamou$17
    I haven't really been impressed with black metal at any point but this was a great review... I'll be checking this out within the next couple of days. No keyboards sounds good to me
    Skirvy
    This is the type of heavy metal that scares little kids and gives them nightmares
    Yes because creating music that gives young children nightmares is such an enjoyable passtime.
    Blackballed
    lilboisX3 wrote: No, But every Black Metal band who use keyboards should use Ihsahn. There are some pretty poorly executed keyboards in black metal.
    Haha. True enough, Ihsahn is the man.
    lilboisX3
    No, But every Black Metal band who use keyboards should use Ihsahn. There are some pretty poorly executed keyboards in black metal.
    Menzaine
    Does that mean every black metal band has to have Ihsahn in it?
    A burn!+1
    shamokk
    Yeah this album is quite boring and shall I say bland. I enjoyed Now, Diabolical more than this. But to clarify I really didnt enjoy Now, diabolical at all. Well actually keyboards are black metal. If you are saying that emperor isn't black metal than please get educated.
    keyboards are not pure black metal, that doesn't mean that emperor hasn't you keyboards to great effect. it's just not as "black"
    duncang
    lilboisX3 wrote: Well actually keyboards are black metal. If you are saying that emperor isn't black metal than please get educated.
    Does that mean every black metal band has to have Ihsahn in it?
    lilboisX3
    Yeah this album is quite boring and shall I say bland. I enjoyed Now, Diabolical more than this. But to clarify I really didnt enjoy Now, diabolical at all. Well actually keyboards are black metal. If you are saying that emperor isn't black metal than please get educated.
    shamokk
    YEH FUCKING SATYRICON IS THE SHIT and hahaha yeh the keyboards are not black metal
    duncang
    This album is...pretty bad, I gotta say. Not too sure about some of the stuff said in this review either, eg: "The duo also keeps a lid on the atmospheric keyboards that are a black metal hallmark" ...?
    Pyd Pyper
    The only problem I have with this album is the 'Black crown on a Tombstone' video where satyricon actually tries to either be or mock Bono (U2) with those ****ing aviators. Otherwise, this album/band is the shit. Shame I can't see them on the 19th March in New Zealand..