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Satyricon – Deep Calleth Upon Deep

Deep Calleth Upon Deep
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 11 October 2017, 8:08 AM

SATYRICON’s “Deep Calleth Upon Deep” is their strongest work since 1999.  I’m not a Black Metal purist but after “Rebel Extravaganza,” each album from this Norwegian duo has bored me to sleep, bar a few songs here and there.  It wasn’t because they were no longer pure Black Metal…that is actually a good thing as Troo and Klvt Black Metal is often times equally as boring.  The problem was they sounded bored themselves, as if they ran out of inspiration and were just treading water.

Upon the first notes of the opening track of this new album, I had a smile upon my face while my head was banging like it was 1985.  Frost hasn’t sounded this good in years; his cymbal crashing and rapid fire snare attacks drive a metal blast of fresh air to the song that is also bolstered by some catchy and groove laded riffs.  The riffs are laden with just enough melody to keep it away from being middle of the road.   The middle part of the song echoes more of a Black Metal sound of old.  I do find the production to be a little flat, especially with the guitars.  They do have bite but they could definitely use more; it’s just a bit too thin for my tastes.

The best part of the album is that it’s so dynamic.  It basically represents a lot of different variety within Black Metal but wraps it around that old signature SATYRICON sound.  The album as a whole is just a fun mixture of speed, groove, and melody. There is half a dozen riffs in the first track alone that make me want to hold my devil horns up high.  Whereas the opener is a better version of something heard on “Now, Diabolical,” other tracks like “Black Wings and Withering Gloom,” and “Dissonant,” have parts of a more chaotic sound. The latter is especially a high point of the album as it alternates between fury and mid paced crunchiness.  The filtered vocals give the song that more raw, darkened feel the genre is so infamous for.

What can I say about Satyr as a vocalist?  He, to me, is one of the best Black Metal vocalists in the genre, alongside Grutle from ENSLAVED. Across the eight tracks, his impressive voice is caustic and raw but still able to form words you can understand. Unfortunately, sometimes he says too much too often; the repetition in some of the lyrics gets rather annoying but it’s nothing that hurts the album too bad.  Some other ideas really don’t fit very well…the annoying background vocals in the otherwise excellent “Ghost of Rome,” really didn’t need to be there and they add nothing to the song.  SATYR’s melodic riffs here, however, are well done and some of the best on the album. SATYRICON finally found a sound that lets them be Black Metal and still step outside the box and it’s so great to hear it all come together.  Welcome back, SATYRICON.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Midnight Serpent
2. Blood Cracks Open The Ground
3. To Your Bretheren In The Dark
4. Deep Calleth Upon Deep
5. The Ghost of Rome
6. Dissonant
7. Black Wings and Withering Gloom
8. Burial Rite
Satyr – Vocals, Guitars
Frost – Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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Edited 20 July 2018

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