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Satyricon: Now, Diabolical

Satyricon, the black metal veterans from Norway, have returned with another sampling of their Satanic might on Now, Diabolical, their follow-up to 2002's monolithic Volcano. While differing slightly from much of the black metal that gets talked about these days in that you don't hear much by the way of blast beats and keyboards, these guys strip down their sound to the basic core-plenty of straightforward & heavy riffs, pounding rhythms, and menacing vocals. The duo who make up Satyricon, Frost (drums) and Satyr (vocals, all other instruments), really know how to conjure up evil imagery that literally bashes you over the head and pummels you into submission, but on Now, Diabolical the trick is that they have managed to make each tune memorable and catchy. This is not something that is always easy in extreme metal of this nature. Take "Pentagram Burns" for instance, a crushing piece with mounds of heavy riffs, anthemic vocals, and just enough atmosphere to keep things interesting. However, fasten your seat belt for the grinding death metal monster that is "New Enemy", an unstoppable beast with shuffling rhythms and plenty of beefy guitar riffs. Fans of huge, epic sounding metal will love the 8-minute "To The Mountains", complete with mammoth guitars and snarling vocals.

Satyr does a great job of mixing up his vocal attack here, as he fluctuates from shrieking black metal screams to more gutteral death metal growls quite well. This plus the solid musicianship makes for an exciting and brutal extreme metal album. Call it black or call it death, it really matters not, but Satyricon have once again delivered another winner of crushing power. Check it out.

Track Listing
1. Now Diabolical
2. King
3. Pentagram Burns
4. New Enemy
5. Rite Of Our Cross
6. That Darkness Shall Be Eternal
7. Delirium
8. To The Mountain

Added: August 25th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Satyricon Website
Hits: 3869
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Satyricon: Now, Diabolical
Posted by Ryan Sparks, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-09-03 10:26:48
My Score:

Now Diabolical, the latest release from legendary Norwegian black metal band Satyricon is another uncompromising sonic tour de-force to add to their already impressive back catalogue. Multi instrumentalist /vocalist Satyr and his partner in crime, drummer Frost manage to pull of the almost impossible on Now Diabolical by keeping things rather basic in terms of instrumentation, but incredibly heavy at the same time. Unlike Frost's other gigs with bands 1349 and Gorgoroth, there are no blast beats or extremely fast work behind the kit. What you get is a rather straight ahead, thundering, lock into the groove type of attack and there is probably no one better in the double bass league as the mighty Frost. Although he does deliver his trademark speed on "The Rite of our Cross" and Storm (Of The Destroyer) in typical Frost fashion. Satyr provides some absolutely crushing guitar work throughout the course of this disc and while most of the riffs are not technically complex they do achieve maximum results with the listener, remaining imbedded in your cranium long after the music has finished. One of the things that lingered with me throughout repeated listens of Now Diabolical, in addition to the basic straight ahead attack driving the songs, is just how commercial sounding the disc is as a whole. This is certainly not a bad thing and the band has certainly come a long way over the course of their history and also proves that Satyricon is not afraid to move into new sonic territory without compromising their over all ethos. In addition, tracks such as "The Rite of Our Cross" and the epic "To The Mountains" are injected with live horns and other symphonic elements which further pushes the band into different territory musically.

Satryicon deliver the complete musical package on Now Diabolical from the music right down to the CD layout and packaging. It is a truly engaging experience from top to bottom and will go down as one of the finest releases of 2006.

Satyricon: Now, Diabolical
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-08-25 08:17:37
My Score:

When you take the talents of Black Metal drummer Frost, and combine it with singer/guitarist Satyr the result is a firestorm of power called Satryicon. There are many that might find it difficult to believe that a two member band could create an album with any significant impact, but with Now, Diabolical, the pair have truly delivered one of the breakthrough albums for the Black Metal genre. The best way to describe the release is as "epic", for while they might not seem as brutal as they last did with Volcano; there is more melody and experimentation present which gives the band a wider reach and the chance to win over a new world of fans. Each song on the recording has an interesting build-up to its crescendo and there are a number of different feels on the songs as well. These different feels allow for each song to standalone successfully. Satyr combines vocal styles and plays all of the instruments outside of the drums, which is Frost's department and the simplicity of guitar, bass, drums, vocals and the odd addition of horns make this a pure recording in terms of the instrumentation especially. There are no over the top keyboard or symphonic elements like we see in a lot of Black Metal these days but instead it is solely based on the guitars and drums. The riffing is interesting when you look at songs like the title track "Now, Diabolical" for under the slow and steady drive of the guitar is the thunderous double-bass drums of Frost. Clearly, the drummer comes from the school of Dave Lombardo - for when he plays its not just blasting away, but tasteful technique that shows what a talented player he actually is. There is a good chance that he is one of the best that the genre has going for it. Satyr himself proves to be a force to be reckoned with in his ability to do all the remaining instrumentation on the album as well as singing. Fans of the epic track will lean towards "To The Mountains" which caps over eight minutes and those that think the band no longer has the Extreme side should turn up the closing track "Storm (Of The Destroyer)", for it is as Old-School Black Metal as might have expected more of on the recording.

What appealed to me most about Now, Diabolical was its overall diversity as a Metal album. Satyricon is not a band that rests on accepted conventions and yet has progressed and moved the genre forward a few more steps than their peers. There are heavy, doom-laden sections as well as fast parts and slow. It's accessible to many but far from commercial and will still be able to appeal to the Black Metal purist. Tracks I enjoyed most from the album were "The Pentagram Burns" and "A New Enemy", the latter having more of a dark Gothic vibe than one would ever find a band like this doing. The albums artwork and lyrical content inside are bleak and not much visually, yet the album itself is outstanding and is a very high recommendation. From this album alone I am interested in seeing a live performance and for an album to be able to have that kind of effect, you know that they did something right. Check it out as soon as possible.

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