"This is a new beginning, a new chapter. The rules of the game have changed."
So state the duo of Satyr and Frost, better known as Satyricon, when discussing their brand new release for Napalm Records, titled Deep Calleth Upon Deep. The Norwegian black metal act, who first burst on the scene back in the early '90s, have gone through some musical changes of sorts over the last decade, trying to 'mainstream' their sound somewhat by including some gothic as well as 'black n roll' styles, but here on this latest release the band are making an attempt to recapture some of that dark power that made their earlier albums so captivating. Don't expect a full on return to blast beat heaven, but the riffs are ominous and menacing, the vocals of Satyr gravelly, and Frost's drum work acrobatic. "Blood Cracks Open the Ground" is a heavy, heavy number, complete with some inventive riffing, while "To Your Brethren in the Dark" has a doom laden, atmospheric vibe that is quite captivating. The title track and "Midnight Serpent" up the speed ante somewhat, but more in line with melodic death metal than maniacal black metal, the riffs tasty and effective over Frost's expert drum work. "The Ghosts of Rome" is just a good, solid metal tune with haunting backing vocals, and "Dissonant" might just be the strongest of the lot, a real throwback to their crunchy Volcano album. For pure Norwegian styled majesty though, it doesn't get much better than "Black Wings and the Withering Doom", Satyr's guitar riffs pure gold amid a pounding yet textured arrangement.
So, whether you feel Deep Calleth Upon Deep is the 'game changer' that Satyricon claims it is, the truth is that it's easily the best album these guys have done since Now, Diabolical. That is without a doubt a step in the right direction. Well done!
- Midnight Serpent 6:20
- Blood cracks open the ground 4:52
- To your brethren in the dark 6:07
- Deep calleth upon Deep 4:37
- The Ghost Of Rome 4:27
- Dissonant 4:13
- Black wings and withering gloom 7:11
- Burial Rite 5:43