CD Review: “Deep Calleth Upon Deep” by Satyricon

Legendary Norwegian black metal duo Satyricon are back with Deep Calleth Upon Deep, its ninth studio album. “Midnight Serpent” opens with a rollicking guitar riff over a demonic circus of blast beats. It is evil black n’ roll with Satyr’s harsh vocals sounding like a priest at a black mass. Frost’s drumming is superb with constant, yet seamless tempo changes that never sound out of place. A strong track and definitely one of the best songs Satyricon has made. Praise is also due to “Blood Cracks Open The Ground” which is notable for its simple guitar riff but complex drumming. The drums tremble and heave like an earthquake, complementing the title. The hopeless ambiance of “To Your Brethren In The Dark” encircles the listener with its doom like melody and dissonant guitar. This song requires repeated listening as there is something enrapturing in its sadness. “The Ghost Of Rome” is perhaps a tribute to the band’s namesake, an Ancient Roman novel written in the first century. It is fairly uptempo as the guitar hastens to keep up with the percussion and is not as dark as the previous tracks. Yet, it still fits the album with its haunting background female chants. Black n’ Roll meets progressive metal on the seven minute long “Black Wings and Withering Doom.” Satyr’s playing transitions from sumptuous to infernal, conveying a hellish majesty.

Deep Calleth Upon Deep is a fusion of black metal and hard rock spattered with progressive elements. Satyricon’s uncompromising attitude allows the band to experiment with its sound free of worrying whether people will consider it “true black metal.” This record is equal parts rocking as well as introspective and dark. It requires repeated listens to grasp the gamut of emotions running through this album. The title of this album suits it as there are musical and emotional layers to this record.

Well, Satyricon did not disappoint with its newest album in four years. Deep Calleth Upon Deep is a well crafted record, with each song offering something enjoyable to the listener. While Satyr’s medical condition may put the band’s future in jeopardy, if this is Satyricon’s final album, the band goes out on a high and victorious note.

For news and tour dates, check out the band’s official website:

http://www.satyricon.no/