Have a listen to: "Midnight Serpent",
Satyricon – Deep Calleth Upon Deep
Release Date: 22nd September 2017
OK, back down to business. I have not written anything for a while, I have lost track of how long it has been, a few days or weeks, it is irrelevant. Luckily in wading through the vast number of new releases I am always able to find something that suits my mood, but never at the right time.
When I first listened to this album it was not the right time. I was quite happy with life, sitting eating a vaguely nutritious breakfast and the mood wasn’t right. Skip forward 24 hours and the album was perfect for the angry, sleep deprived, hungover revenge I was planning against the world. Even then, it took a while for me to be able to sit still long enough to write this, luckily it gave me time to go through this album a few times on repeat.
The reason why is not relevant, the important thing is that there is a sense of impending doom that would be a shock into the system of anyone who could hear what was going on in your headphones when you are playing this album. This would be the soundtrack to a film if Batman acted like Blade and it would make Blade look like Twilight.
Am I speaking in metaphors too much? It’s probably because I swore off booze on Sunday morning, don’t worry, I’m back on it now, I am from Newcastle after all.
‘Midnight Serpent‘ opens this album with consistent riffing, and simple drums. The effectiveness of this track is in the simplicity rather than in the musical heroics. The mood is carried by the dark growling vocal delivery and the track packs a hefty gut punch as a result; there is nothing that will drive you to satanic mass quicker, or be the perfect soundtrack to the event.
By the time we get to the third track on the album, ‘To Your Brethren In The Dark‘, you realise the brilliance of this band. The music that they produce appears very simple and, in that lays the effectiveness. There is nothing to be gained here by fancy studio tricks or over complicated solos. The band are tight and fit the vocals perfectly. I am being led down a dark path here, but I have long since surrendered and am looking forward to seeing where this path leads. Once again my mind is led to dark metaphors and supernatural horror, yet in an enjoyable way.
There is something restrained in the vocal delivery, or perhaps desperate to escape in my own. In my head I am screaming along to each song, despite the understated delivery of the vocals I am hearing. I want them to go further and yet I am not given that, as a result the tension, and with it my connection to the track, builds.
The energy, or rather tempo, has picked up by ‘The Ghost of Rome‘ but the recipe remains the same. Satyricon here are delivering a solid album, with a dynamic that is missed by a huge percentage of artists in recent times. The album makes sense as a whole and is filled with solid tracks. This is a band that has found their sound and manage to be consistently creative and produce quality material within it. There is no veering off into the dirt in order to try to appeal to a wider audience. They know what they want and right now they know what I want.
There is no changing direction here people, we are ploughing through. The sky is dark and we are driving too fast. Streetlights whip by and the oddly video game-esque experience of gunning it towards the Tyne Bridge through the lights is adding to the vaguely psychoactive experience. Luckily there aren’t many people on this road, there is no room for them. We want true travellers only and we need more attention to the music. My mind wanders, I hope you understand. That is why editors are so important. But then there is always the risk that all of this madness gets published and then we are all in trouble.
In the mean time we headbang to ‘Dissonant‘ without fear of the imminent whiplash and brain damage that follows and step up the experience of personal exploration with ‘Black Wings and Withering Doom‘. My mind is a scary place, is all I have learned here. Luckily I am clearly not alone, I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing and at the moment I don’t care. This is my horror movie and Satyricon are providing the soundtrack.
Over and over again here I am amazed by the control shown by the band in the delivery of the music and vocals. There are hugely impressive kick drum moments on the tracks but that is the only extravagance. The guitar and bass provide the canvas, the drums the frame and the vocals provide black paint; make of it what you will. This album is dark, a triumph of musicality and creativity and there is nothing that can force you to, or bring you back from, the brink more effectively.
For fans of: Impending doom, murderous thoughts and screaming in your own mind (unfortunately, none of these are band names.) (If there are any bands with these names I want to hear from you).
For more Satyricon