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This band used to blow me away with everything up to 1996 with Nemesis Divina. The band just kept getting better with Dark Medieval Times, The Forest Is My Throne and Shadowthrone ending their peak with Nemesis. This catalogue alone is enough to cement their legacy in the history of black metal excellence. With Rebel Extravaganza you saw the signs of a band just itching to break out of their relative anonymity.
Satyr is very much in love with the idea of being a popular rock star. I personally don't have much of a problem with a band changing their sound, as long as it still sounds good. But how often does this really happen? Then comes Volcano which just made them sell outs. Not only did that not get many new fans but it probably made old, faithful fans run to the hills and throw away their Satryricon t-shirts in the garbage. Volcano was terrible. This band is capable of legendary music. They've proven that to us, while Now, Diabolical isn't even close to anything from 92-96 it's still an enjoyable release nonetheless.
I didn't even know this album came out that's how much I fell off their wagon. Then I saw the video for K.I.N.G. and for some reason I liked the song. The video was crap but that's a different topic. Everything in my mind told me not to like this band anymore, much less the song itself, but fuck this ain't half bad. The melody stuck in my head and even though it wasn't "true black metal" it was still good. I would call this album "blackened rock music". Frost doesn't really let the animal loose here, his drumming shines on 1349 and the latest Gorgoroth album and Satyr's voice still sounds good.
Musically its similar to Volcano but slightly heavier and the songs are just plain better. I understand if they want to appeal to a wider audience and with this album and it probably will. This time they fully absorb and embrace their sell out status and they make it work. For someone who's a diehard raw, true, kvlt black metal fan like myself, this is a guilty pleasure. Everything pointed to me slamming this album with a big fat ZERO but it gets the passing grade just because it's so damn catchy. And that in my mind deserves some sort of praise. If it weren't for their illustrious past I'd probably give this 5 more points. But in a way their past hurts this album and haunts the band because we know they've done this much much better before.