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Satyricon does not have a great track record for EP releases. I'll grant them The Forest is My Throne demo re-issue on the split with Enslaved, but the later short players like Megiddo and Intermezzo II were seriously short on value: random assortments of live cuts, album re-mixes and cover songs which never amounted to anything. In truth, My Skin is Cold seems more like an advance single for the band's 2008 album The Age of Nero, which I enjoyed for its great mesh of rock-inspired, evil swerving riffage and huge tone, but many seemed to loathe for its admitted simplicity. However, they decided to expand this out with some bonus features, including two live cuts with added orchestra, and a pair of re-mastered tracks.
First, while they might be placed last on the EP, the live renditions of "Repined Bastard Nation" (Volcano) and "Mother North" (Nemesis Divina)" are the best of this bunch. Not because they really sound all that great from a stage recording standpoint, but just for the added layer of atmosphere that the horns create. It's not that they've been woven into the songs to create an extra level of complexity, but they sound so damned brass and percussive, especially in "Mother North" that it makes me wish Satyricon would record an entire album with them. As for the re-mastered tracks "Live Through Me" and "Existential Fear-Questions", they were culled from the LP edition of Volcano, and so do provide some value for anyone who doesn't own that. "Live Through Me" is creepy and atmospheric, with dire guitar progressions and a mixture of grimy and narrated vocals that work well within its lurching menace. "Existential..." is more complex in the guitars, but I found the grooves pretty weak, even with the warped Tom G Warrior impression of the vocals.
That leaves only the title track, which is delivered in a dryer version than the EP (seems that the synth strikes in the verse are missing, and I rather liked them). A good song, with a nice groove to it that well compensates for the simplicity of its structure, though the chorus loses a little of the bombast. Unfortunately, the My Skin is Cold EP gets cold-cocked by the double disc limited edition of The Age of Nero, which includes almost all of the material in the same form it appears here. If you don't have that, then this might be worth hearing once or twice for the re-masters and the two live orchestral tracks, and it's mildly more fulfilling than their prior EP Intermezzo II. But if you DO own that...then this is basically worthless. Ugh.
The only new song is "My Skin Is Cold". Well, if you think you will hear something new, you are mistaken. Just go to the official site of Satyricon and listen to the sample. It reflects this tune perfectly. The whole song goes like that - primitive drum beating and and mindless guitar masturbation. Verse-chorus-verse-chorus (listen on the official website), then slow interlude (like the one that was in "Fuel For Hatred") and then again verse-chorus and that is all. Everything is very predictable and boring here. Actually, there is nothing difficult in composing such songs - everyone could write ten songs like that during two hours. Musically Satyricon offers nothing new - guitar buzz, some discordant chords, sometimes high guitar strings playing accidentally chosen notes - all this is repeated since Volcano again and again. No sense, no feelings, no atmosphere at all, and stupid rock'n'roll dance rhytms in the vein of Now, Diabolical. Production is also very poor - clear, faceless, flat and absolutely unagressive sound.
Next songs are some kind of attempt to smooth total meaninglessness of title track and to attract additional customers of this EP. We can't say here about musical experiments or releasing some interesting stuff which doesn't fit on the album, like on Megiddo or Intermezzo II. Just filling space on the CD.
2nd & 3rd tracks are songs written for Volcano but excluded from CD-version of that album (but they were on the LP, so everyone already heard them). Nothing new, nothing outstanding, nothing interesting. Typical songs for Volcano, which sounded more or less good inside the albums, but turned out totally uninteresting independently. Usual Volcano style minus darkness and plus some stupid cheesy and joyful melodies and harmonies.
This time is very pertinently to quote Satyr: "We don't have a bunch of unreleased songs lying around. It's not the way we work. We focus on recording ONLY great songs. A lot of bands record 25-50 half-hearted songs and pick 10 for the album, which the producer and the A&R consider to be the best ones. Then later on there might be a live album with two exclusive bonus tracks. Great huh? You get two songs not considered good enough for an album. Awesome. And it's "free" too. If we record extra songs, it's not for b-sides; it's for a meaningful purpose, because we don't make half-hearted songs."
Well... Next two tracks are live songs with orchestra. Orchestra means some horns and brass. Sound quality is very good but Satyr's voice is old, tired and pretended. Repined Bastard Nation - entertaining dancing rock'n'roll - almost doesn't content orchestra contribution - just some notes here and there. Then, finally, Mother North, old Satyricon' pop hit, melodic and rememberable, yet enough dark and senseful. Here we have more or less interesting version, a lot of "orchestra" and not too much keyboards, and not so much Satyr's metallica-style shouts like "hey! hey! hey! hey!" as usually on live recordings of this one. Rather good track, though song became less dark and epic and more listenable for average ear.
And the package of this EP is another attempt to make a unusual shape instead of making a good content. Gatefold 7'' sleeve which contains CD with 5 tracks described above and marbled 7'' vinyl with 1st and 5th tracks from the CD.
Don't want to make any withdrawals.... But if you are not Satyricon FAN (hey, are there any of them yet?), then, I think, this EP absolutely doesn't worth buying, and even doesn't worth downloading and listening.