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Satyricon Returns: First Listen of “Our World, It Rumbles Tonight”

August 8, 2013

 
They certainly took their time with this. Its been five years since Satyricon’s last studio album, the spotty but generally good The Age of Nero. For two albums (two and a halfish if you count Volcano and its charting single “Fuel For Hatred”), Satyricon explored a style that could adequately be described as black metal meets rock, a simplification of an already slightly streamlined approach they began to take with 1999’s Rebel Extravaganza. Over the course of these, let’s face it, far more accessible albums, the band’s popularity grew and grew, and they even seemed to work up an arguable masterpiece with 2006’s Now Diabolical. Of course, there were people that hated everything about this era of the band, and inevitably when promotional photos began to show a short haired Satyr —- well that was probably the last straw for those on the fence. For those of us who happened to enjoy the era, I think we could pretty much agree on one thing, that the band had gone as far as they could with their current sound, and it was time for something new. Its rare when a band and its fans agree on change, but when the band finished their last touring cycle they vowed to take an extended break to recharge themselves, as well as to re-imagine their sound itself.

There’s a leak, and its on YouTube and other places (for now) of a track entitled “Our World, It Rumbles Tonight” from Satyricon’s upcoming self-titled album (seriously what is it with bands and self-titled albums this year? Stop being lazy and create a title!). I’ll confess, when I saw this being passed around on Facebook, I fully realized the amount of anticipation I’ve had building up for this album. I was pumped up, and all my goofy pious talk about waiting until I could hear the album in its entirety immediately dissipated. I’ve been listening on repeat non-stop for a few hours now, most likely ruining this track for future playthroughs but screw it —- its been five freaking years since I’ve gotten new Satyricon music! This was after all one of my top five most anticipated albums for 2013, and I’m doing my best not to put the cart before the horse or some other similar saying, but I’ll just throw this out there: If the rest of the new album is like this, then its going to be fantastic.

This is just one track, so its unfair to describe the new sound of Satyricon in this small write up, but there does seem to be a mix of familiar and unfamiliar elements going on here. The production is as crisp and professional as their more recent work, the guitars are upfront and riffing is kept relatively clear and simple, Satyr’s vocal lines are quick and forceful, and Frost is of course pounding directly in our temples with furious double kick. All that stuff reminds me of elements from their past few albums, however there does however seem to be a call back to the wide open, expansive arrangements that touched classic albums like Nemesis Divina. Except that instead of epic, sweeping strings, I’m hearing what sounds like a muted choral vocal that sets in to support the songs beautifully bleak chorus. Here Satyr croaks out “My world, crumbles”, and drawn out, wild guitar chords left to sustain paint a dark, yet vivid soundscape. Its a thrilling, addictive chorus. There definitely seems to be something fresh happening here, I just can’t put my finger on it. I want to say that I’m hearing moments of the wide open expansiveness of some of the more lengthy cuts off Volcano mixed with the pop-smarts of Now, Diabolical but that would be oversimplifying things, and well, it’d just be inadequate.

Take a listen yourself (while you still can):

 

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2013 6:09 am

    Isn’t it all a bit eclectic?
    I must admit, I’m an avid Now,Diabolical fan, and somehow I was mislead – by statements of Satyr’s and journalists alike – that we could expect a similar atmosphere. Perhaps it was wishful thinking on my part. I wanted the simplicity, the somberness, the volume.
    Anyway, we mustn’t rush.
    And this is what I wrote on our blog:

    ‘So there we have it, the first song from the new SATYRICON album to hit cyberspace
    What strikes me: it does sound organic. It’s as if the endless “old vs new” arguments (if we could name them so) should finally dissolve. Here it is, the SATYRICON spirit. There’s probably some “old” and some “new”, but their dialectics are blended indiscriminately complete. There’s nothing much to analyze. Some expectations are gratified more than others, and maybe pre-Volcano fans are happier. But let’s not judge the book by its cover, and let’s keep an open mind (and heart) in the month ahead; moreover, “surprises” are promised… At any rate, we’re looking forward to both the record and the live shows, which always proved to set the air ablaze.’

    • August 10, 2013 3:58 pm

      Its so hard to judge what Satyr’s statements intended with only hearing one track though, at least for me anyway. I’m really interested to hear what this supposed guest vocal from a Norwegian pop singer is going to sound like for instance, thats something that has never been attempted by the band, and might be a radically different type of approach for them. Who knows what other experimentation could be on the other tracks?

      He basically stated that he felt they had gone as far as they could in their current (back then) style, but he never ruled out of possibility that a new Satyricon direction could include elements from all the eras of past Satyricon combined.

      One of my friends listened to this song and said that he felt like they had found a good way to balance between the older styles with epic, complex arrangements and the more recent rock-riff don’t-bore-us-get-to-the-chorus approach. I wonder how many others hear it that way…

  2. August 10, 2013 5:23 pm

    Satyr firmly insisted that we don’t look back at old records, and the new album won’t be some ‘mix of old and new’, but it’d be ‘organic’ – this is why I exclude an approach where he consciously compiles pieces of all the past records (and which is what I referred to as ‘eclectic’). It does sound like a compilation to me; while your friend might be content with a ‘balance mix’, I feel that most fans of extreme metal seek something to ‘grab’ them, something overwhelming, and indeed, full of life. I struggle to find the life in that dry new song. Perhaps that’ll change. I’m open for the record and whatever it may entail. I hope it does come from the ‘soul’ of Satyr, resp. Satyricon, and he spontaneously came up with that motley sound.

    As far as the guest-singer, I read his band is quite moody – not surprising, given Satyr’s strong melancholic streak.

  3. August 10, 2013 6:00 pm

    P.S. I sure hope it’s not some pointless exercise in musicianship, like Ihsahn’s….

    • August 10, 2013 11:57 pm

      Haha yeah I can agree with that.

      • August 11, 2013 5:59 am

        Let’s see… Not too hopeful, reading this in a forum:
        “Listening to the album for the first time, not too bad. The song “Phoenix” sounds like a post rock song with clean vocals and everything. Not at all impressed with that.”

      • August 11, 2013 4:24 pm

        Ah I don’t put too much stock into opinions pre-hearing the album myself. I do think that like everything Satyricon does it will be divisive in some manner.

  4. August 27, 2013 3:45 am

    Divisive… no. Dull… yes. Here’s my (very favourable) review. After all, there IS one good song there, Nocturnal Flare. http://theothersidezine.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/satyricon-satyricon-roadrunner-2013/

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