There once was a time when Satyricon were considered one of the leaders of the second wave of Norwegian black metal acts. Sadly, that now seems like a very long time ago. Albums like Now, Diabolical and Age of Nero saw the band venturing into more of a 'black 'n' roll' style, and while those releases saw the band gain some new fans, loyal followers were not so accepting as Satyricon seemed to be getting further and further away from their true black metal roots. Their latest self-title album doesn't quite fix the problem, though there's less of a 'rock 'n' roll' feel here, as the band look to be getting back into some more evil, atmospheric elements. "Voice of Shadows" and "Our World, It Rumbles Tonight" has a slower, almost death metal feel, but the cold atmosphere is definitely Norwegian black metal. Satyr's vocals are snarling yet restrained, while Frost's drum work occasionally dips into some mechanical blast beats but also shows a bit of restraint. "Nocturnal Flare" has an epic feel, and the textured "Phoenix" succeeds despite some clean vocal crooning from Satyr that seems a bit out of place. The most furious and satisfying track here is the raging "Walker Upon The Wind", a delicious slice of black metal that sees complex riffs & drum blasts flying all over the place, stabbed by Satyr's raspy vocal delivery. "Ageless Northern Spirit" has a similar feel, though with more atmosphere thrown in, while the menacing "The Infinity of Time and Space" is cold and harsh, heavy yet one of the most progressive songs here.
Definitely a step back in the right direction, there's still a good amount on Satyricon that's going to continue to piss off those who've probably already written this band off. Satyricon have obviously left behind their traditional Norwegian black metal roots in favor of some varied and dare I say 'mature' sounds here on this latest release, but there's enough atmospheric black metal to quench my thirst this time around.
1. Voice of Shadows
2. Tro Og kraft
3. Our World, It Rumbles Tonight
4. Nocturnal Flare
6. Walker Upon The Wind
8. Ageless Northern Spirit
9. The Infinity of Time and Space