Norwegian black metal legends, SATYRICON, have arrived with their ninth studio album, Deep calleth upon Deep. Ever evolving with each release, the duo comprised of drummer Frost and frontman Satyr have blasted up the ranks of black metal for decades, with their record Nemesis Divina being regarded as one of the most pivotal albums in black metal. Throughout the years they have developed their sound and challenged the standards of black metal by incorporating new styles and sounds into their art, with their previous self-titled album being one of their most diverse yet. Here, we give the run-down of what Deep calleth upon Deep offers to the masses, and how SATYRICON have evolved in their time.
Deep calleth upon Deep opens with Midnight Serpent, and immediately you can hear the development present in the record. While having a similar feel to their older material, the production is crisp and clear, while remaining somewhat raw in places which brings a traditional black metal feeling to the track. Dissonant is one of the most interesting tracks on Deep calleth upon Deep, as it opens with an interesting brass section before blasting into a marching black metal riff. Satyr’s vocals growl in the background while the brass and Frost’s drumming provides the main appeal for this track. Picking up speed, it has all the qualities of a SATYRICON track, but something a little extra as the brass again bursts almost out of nowhere and adds a layer of complexity to the track. Little things like this that are otherwise unexpected generally in black metal are part of the appeal to Dissonant, and Deep calleth upon Deep as a whole.
While all of the tracks on this record are executed well and complement each other, the real standouts are Dissonant, Black Wings and Withering Gloom and The Ghost of Rome, which has an almost upbeat, optimistic feel to it to begin with, yet still remaining dark throughout. Each song has something that makes it stand out and become slightly unique in this record. This is reinforced further in the title track, as the haunting backing vocals over Satyr’s chorus chill the spine and keep your attention fixed.
Perhaps the most appealing part of Deep calleth upon Deep is that, despite the new additions in their musical repertoire, SATYRICON still sound very much like they did when they first hit the scene. They are an example of a band that develop as they do themselves as individuals, however stay true to the foundations upon which their band and legacy was built. For example, the brass-laden Dissonant may introduce a new wave of sounds for SATYRICON, however Midnight Serpent is incredibly reminiscent of their older material, however more refined and still standing out in their discography.
Deep calleth upon Deep is arguably one of SATYRICON‘s finest albums to date. Its incorporation of new ideas and original sound have come together to create something quite special, that stands out from the ever-expanding crowd that is black metal. With this record, SATYRICON have reaffirmed that they are one of the most impressive bands in the market right now, and their attitude towards music and development is needed more in the scene.
Deep calleth upon Deep is out now via Napalm Records.
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