Norwegian black metallers, Satyricon new album has been released Napalm Records. That album, Deep Calleth Upon Deep, is the band’s 9th studio album which was released on the 22nd of September.
Recorded in Oslo and Vancouver earlier this year, Deep Calleth Upon Deep follows their self titled 8th release which was the first to top the album charts in their home country.
Check out our review of their first single released from the album, the title track Deep Calleth Upon Deep, by following this link.
Satyricon are a two piece having started life off with a full band, in the demo years. As members left, the two remaining members stayed as such and instead employed “live members” to help them when touring. Satyricon are the immensely talented Sigurd Wongraven (Satyr) who looks after vocals, guitars, keyboards and bass recording duties. He is supported by Kjetil-Vidar Haraldstad (Frost) who looks after drums. The live members are Steinar “Azarak” Gunderson on guitars and Anders “Neddo” Odden on bass. Finally we have Anders Hunstad on keyboards.
Satyricon frontman Satyr had the following to say about the new album – “Approaching this release, what I always kept in mind is that either this is the beginning of something new or it’s gonna be my last record. If this is going to be the last, then it needs to be something special. If there are more records then I’d better make sure that this is so different from the last one that it feels like a new beginning. I think it’s really, really dark, very spiritual and filled with confidence and energy.”
Deep Calleth Upon Deep has 8 tracks on it and is about 44 minutes long in total. As a band Satyricon have been experimenting with their sound for a long time now, moving away from black metal to a more traditional rock/metal sound with blackened elements. As quite often happens, this can leave a band sounding as little confused and can alienate your core audience. This is really summed up by their self titled 8th album. Satyricon, the album, did well commercially but divided fans of the band with many thinking it had just become a diluted mess.
The first single from this album showed a lot of promise with a much more raw sound, heavy and distorted riffs and a simplified, but atmospheric sound. Thankfully the whole album follows that same style. There is a real stripped back sound to the album as a whole and it feels very riff led. There is a whole heap of creativity and feeling in the riffs and this gives the album a blacker feel through atmosphere. Of course it isn’t a black metal album – Satyricon do not do that anymore – so expect more styles to make an appearance, but it does feel blacker and progressive.
Songs like The Ghost of Rome are packed with melody and stunning drum rhythms. A little bit of orchestral backing makes an appearance. It actually feels like an upbeat kind of track during the high pitched guitar melodies. More progressive and inventive elements rear their head on Dissonant which has a great head nodding rhythm in the intro before turning into quite an intricate, complex track with perfect timing and control from Frost. He is one hell of a drummer and while I find the vocals on this one a bit less exciting, the raw, distorted edge of the guitars make it a compelling listen.
We also then have the tracks that are a little less complex. More riff driven then intricate drum beat driven like album opener Midnight Serpent. A fast, raw and aggressive track which has quality riff after quality riff pouring out of it. Those riffs are mixed perfectly with drum rhythms that move from furious double bass blasts to cymbal crashes and gentler drum rolls and everything in between.
Burial Rite, Black Wings and Withering Gloom, To Your Brethren in the Dark – all 3 songs follow the same style. They are heavy, mixing tempos and tones but are a definite sign of Satyricon reverting back to a more familiar sound. Riffs upon riffs coupled with superb drumming make them all very listenable even if Satyrs vocals could do with a bit more adventure at time. The best song on the album for me though is Blood Cracks Upon the Ground. It has a more upbeat feel to the start. More great riffs, no surprise there, and some of the fastest drumming on the album.
So what you have with Deep Calleth Upon Deep is a very good album. Satyricon appear to have learned from previous efforts and reverted back to type a little bit. Not too much – there is still plenty of progressive ideas here – but there are definite signs of an increase in traditional black metal riffing and feeling. More evolution then a backwards step though as they switch things up enough to make it bloody hard to categorise them.
I like it but I am not overly keen on Satyr’s vocals across the whole of the album. They are quite monotone with little to no variation in pitch, tone or anything. I know that is his style, I just find it to be the weakest element of the album overall. What you do have here though is an album packed with intense riffing and insanely good drumming wrapped in a complex but dark atmosphere. Well worth adding to your collection.
You can pick up the album for yourself from Napalm Records here or via the Amazon and Apple links below. Check out Satyricon on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more information on them and their music. Be sure to like and follow them while you are there.
Deep Calleth Upon Deep by Satyricon (Napalm Records)
- The Final Score - 7.5/107.5/10