REVIEW: SATYRICON – “Deep Calleth Upon Deep”
Satyricon is a band nothing short of a legend. They’ve come a long way in terms of experiences, sounds and musical directions. Yet, the musical prowess of the duo doesn’t seemed to diminish. The duo are back with their new offering in the guise of ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’. For starters, I was personally really excited for this record because I thought it would be interesting to see where the band would go in terms of their sound and composition after their self titled previous record. While this might not go well with many “kvlt trve elitist I’m greater than thou” black metal fans, I thought that the musical direction of the new record was a bold yet wonderful choice. The meditative composition of the band captures aggression in it’s music rather interestingly. The meditative sounds, I believe, represent a more mature and evolved take on black metal so as far as the feel or the vibe of the genre goes. There’s a certain depth and emotion to this genre, and Satyricon does an excellent job capturing this.
The album opens up with the aggressive “Midnight Serpent”. While it isn’t outright chaotic and a speedy overkill, it’s still a really heavy song. There’s still a lot of influence from the previous album on this song, and it’s a safe bet that this would hold true for rest of the album. The song has a lot of sections that build considerable tension, which I find a little strange for an opening track. “Blood Cracks Open The Ground” sounds like an invitation to reminisce the old Satyricon for a bit. The drums and the melody on the other instruments coupled with the vocals is evocative of the band’s older sounds.
“Deep Calleth Upon Deep” is a song that grows on you. I think that this is one of the best songs that the band has ever created. The song has so many interesting colours to it. There’s a lot of layering is this song. From the arrangement of the instrumental sections to the harmonizing singing to the guitar tones and lyrics, the whole song comes together as a masterpiece courtesy the band. This song drowns in emotion. This song is truly a standard not limited to the likes of a band like Satyricon. “Dissonant” starts off with a brass section and guitar trade off. A little unusual for the band but I see no reason why Satyricon would ever want to shy away from this idea. This song would be a great addition to a live set. It has a lot of energy and groovy sections, and of course, Frost displays a lot of mad skill on this song. The album ends with “Burial Rite”. This song is also very reminiscent of the band’s older sounds. There’s a solid brass section on this that adds depth to the music. This song is a good ending to the album that started off on an aggressive note.
‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’ is yet another extraordinary venture by Satyricon. This record stands out as one of the band’s best. The album explores a lot of textures which is normally alien to the genre but has always had massive potential. Despite some bold moves by the band as heard on the album, ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’ stands its ground very well. The record explores a very evolved and transient side as far as black metal music is concerned. The production quality on the record is stunning. The album is not over produced and does not sound like a radio with poor reception. The album sounds very organic. The drums sound alive and punchy. The guitars come with their own unique Satyricon tones that we are all too familiar with and love. The mixing and production makes a lot of space for the singing, brass and string sections and eerie ambient and atmospheric parts. Satyr’s singing and guitar works shows no signs of slowing down despite his recent terrible illness. The new album doesn’t make you sorely miss the older sounds and moods of the band, in fact, I think that this album makes you fall deeper in love with the band’s music as a whole across it’s discography. This album most certainly represents a musical maturity that has been honed by decades of experience coupled with a deeper introspection of a genre’s potential. As far as the vibe or feel of black metal goes, this album will always stand out. The band took this interesting sound by their stride without falling into the cliches that is so deeply desired by kvlt elitists. The whole album by itself is poetic.