CD Reviews > Satyricon

Satyricon - Age of Nero
Koch Records

Satyricon transport us back to one of the darkest moments in humanity’s history to remind us that the history forgotten is doomed to be repeated. They take us to the waning Roman Empire – or more precisely, to the Age of Nero. As a long-time Satyricon fan, The Crowgrrl has got to say this is the band’s most powerful, most chilling Black Metal masterpiece to date!

Check out the first video from the album, the compelling "Black Crow On A Tombstone"!

Hailing from Norway, Satyricon is simply frontman Satyr (who does most of the instrumentations himself although when touring surrounds himself with a full live band), and percussionist Frost.

When this excellent album was first released in early 2009, Satyr stated, "Everything that we do in Satyricon is built around the music itself. That means that our artwork and visuals are chosen or created to function well with the music - either to emphasize elements in the music or to contribute to a sense of totality. The layout for The Age of Nero is truly a fine piece of art; everything from the pictures chosen to the fonts and colors of the letters are carefully picked in order to feel right for this album and its general atmosphere. The album title has multiple references to subjects that on some level pertain to the album itself; 'Nero' is a metaphor for darkness but also for destructive elements in mankind that threaten to bring down an empire. The 'age of Nero' refers to Satyricon as that famous piece of literature depicts scenes from Nero's Rome, but it also refers to our own time and the threat of downfall that is again mirrored in the apocalyptic feel of our music. It all neatly comes together."

The thunder of adrenaline-fueled heartbeats bring us in to "Commando", where the aristocracy – drunk with power – liken themselves to mythical Dragons. We then embark on a feral, predatory race with the rest of "The Wolfpack". The Crowgrrl’s obvious favorite, "Black Crow On A Tombstone", cushions dire warnings amid beautiful, catchy musicianship as bright as sunlight shining on a crow’s wings.

The annihilating "Die By My Hand" is pure madness unleashed. "My Skin Is Cold" is not the only thing frigid as this song chills the very blood rushing through your veins. I love the pure Draconian force in the untamed, fearful but magnetic "The Sign Of The Trident".

The warrior ferocity of "Last Man Standing" shows a sorcerer unmasking and overthrowing a tyrant. Although "Den Siste" (loose translation: The Last Ones) is all in Norwegian, it proves music really is the universal language as we’re thrown into an ominous situation indeed.

Always remember as an inscription on the album reminds us: “When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars”.

~Athena Schaffer