Satyricon - ‘Nemesis Divina’ (Napalm Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Thursday, 19 May 2016 04:00

Satyricon NemesisWith Sigurd ‘Satyr’ Wongraven having celebrated the 25th anniversary of the band which bears his stage name, with last year’s excellent ‘Live At The Opera’ DVD package, he - and, no doubt, long-time collaborator Frost - has decided to revisit an album which marked the end of one era and the dawn of another. ‘Nemesis Divina’ - which itself marks 20 years since its initial release - was the last of the triptych of albums which saw Satyricon stick rigidly to the Norwegian black metal formula which they had following in the first half-decade of their career, before embarking on the more experimental, exploratory, route for which they have become cartographers over the intervening years.


On reflection, Satyricon were very obviously contemplating the exploration of new territories during the recording of ‘Nemesis Divina’, something which always has been evident in the subsequently prophetic title track, ‘The Dawn Of A New Age’. The song, as with the rest of the album, sees Satyr and Frost (who always have written as contrastingly collaborative and individual components) visit (then) new depths of aural intensity, developing the technique of layering to create levels of atmospheric menace in a way which subsequently has become their trademark sound - and one which has been mimicked by so many, especially Scandinavian, black metal acts but which also has managed to remain a unique identifier of the Satyricon sound.


‘Nemesis…’ is definitely an album which has stood the test of time, sounding as fresh and relevant as it did two decades ago. Yes, it does a little ragged round the edges, especially in terms of the production values (which no amount of re-engineering can cover up), but the remix does manage to accentuate some of the album’s subtler moments. It stands as a lasting testament to a defining period in black metal history, when bands such as Satyricon really started to integrate new elements into their sound, and felt comfortable moving outside of some of the more restrictive codices and spread their darkened wings around the concept of not having to play at a zillion notes a second in order to spread their unholy gospel. It’s also a more than worthy addition to the library of any younger black metal fan who may not have been able to absorb the warmth of this landmark album at first hand.


Satyricon play Bloodstock Open Air Metal Festival (Ronnie James Dio stage) on Sunday 14 August.


To pick up your copy of 'Nemesis Divina' - CLICK HERE