Satyricon - Now, Diabolical review
|Release date:||April 2006|
01. Now, Diabolical
03. The Pentagram Burns
04. A New Enemy
05. The Rite Of Our Cross
06. That Darkness Shall Be Eternal
08. To The Mountains
09. Storm (Of The Destroyer) [bonus]
Now, Diabolical is yet another album from a continuously evolving band. As far as most of Satyricon's early fans think, the band simply died after Nemesis Divinia. Despite this way of thinking, Satyricon have continued along the path they have chosen, and have gotten new fans who are more into their new brand of music. Both Satyr and Frost have said in interviews that Satyricon nowadays is a disciplined unit trying to make good songs. This discipline is achieved by them in this album, but for me personally it takes away that atmosphere and ancient sound that was typical of the band's early albums. Well this review is not going to be about how "kvlt" or otherwise Satyricon is. Instead it's going to be mainly about the album and the musicianship depicted in it.
The first thing I noticed about this album was its crystal clear production. If you feel that Black Metal needs better production, this album is just ideal for you. The mixing is actually brilliantly executed and even Satyr's vocals are clear enough to hear, which is a stark contrast to Dark Medieval Times.
In terms of the riffs, I found them quite original and creative at times and they seem to have few similarities with other bands of their genre. The tempo of individual tracks remains the same throughout but tends to vary with each other. The result is that we have a list of tracks which all move along in their own tempo. This somehow takes away the aura of the album and makes it easier on the ears. Quite a few of the songs are quite catchy and you may find yourself nodding in time with it every now and then. If you have never heard Black Metal before, this would probably be a good album to start with.
There are both good and bad things about this album and as far as I'm concerned, one of its highlights is "The Pentagram Burns". It's quite a typical name for a Black Metal song but I found it to be quite impressive. It's easily one of the best tracks on the album and is definitely the type of song that Satan would be proud to call his own.
Having said that though, it's just like the rest of the album, very precise and calculated. Precision and accuracy have never been what Black Metal has been about over the years. What this album really needs is a bit of dirt and a bit more passion. The drums are almost restrained and held back. Even the guitars seem to be too controlled and calculated. Frost's lack of destructive brilliance is painfully obvious compared to what we know he can produce.
Musically it's similar to Volcano but slightly heavier and the songs are just plain better. I understand that they want to appeal to a wider audience and with this album they probably will. This time they fully absorb and embrace their "sell-out" status and they achieve what they wanted to do with this album. If you thought their old albums were godlike and their newer material was too bad to be true, this album will not change your mind. On the other hand, if you like better production skills, control and catchy songs, this one's a keeper.
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| Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
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