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Satyricon: The Age of Nero

At this point, you basically know what you are going to get with any new Satyricon release. The black metal legends have settled into their whole groove laden 'black n roll' thing, sort of a slower, catchier, heavier version of the traditional Norwegian black metal style that these veterans helped forge back in the early 90's. After the success of previous efforts Volcano and Now, Diabolical, Satyr and Frost return with what is certainly an extension of those two releases in The Age of Nero. Eight songs totalling just under 45 minutes, The Age of Nero sounds oddly familiar yet comfortable from the opening notes of "Commando", the CD's first track. As you make your way through "Wolfpack", you might begin to think that this one might be the sibling of "King" or "Now, Diabolical" from the previous release, and "Black Crow On A Tombstone" delivers one of the bands grooviest arrangements ever. It's not until "Die By My Hand" that the band crushes the listener with some manic black metal, this piece a thunderous assault of blast beats from Frost, Satyr's demonic vocals and massive riffage delivering the goods in a big way. Things continue on with a similar effect on "My Skin Is Cold", a raging black metal tune featuring icy cold riffs and plenty of atmosphere that produces images of a frost covered Norway. Manic drum work from Frost litters the dirgy "The Sign Of The Trident", while the riff heavy "Last Man Standing" takes the band into almost death metal realms. Final cut "Den Siste" approaches the 8-minute mark, a bubbling, churning beast that sees plenty of blast beats & kick drum patters from Frost, Satyr's bone crunching riffs and gravelly vocals setting the dark and menacing tone on what is essentially an excellent doom metal track.

Is The Age of Nero a classic black metal album? Probably not, as the band seems to be moving farther and farther away from what most consider 'true' black metal, but it's a damn good extreme metal release no matter how you look at it. All the songs here are instantly memorable, melodic, yet quite crushing. Thankfully, the band is coming over to the US with Cradle of Filth here in 2009, so look for them at a venue near you.

Track Listing
01. Commando
02. The Wolfpack
03. Black Crow On A Tombstone
04. Die By My Hand
05. My Skin Is Cold
06. The Sign Of The Trident
07. Last Man Standing
08. Den Siste

Added: January 31st 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2826
Language: english

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