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Dear Satyr, - 40%

oneyoudontknow, May 21st, 2009

yes, we know that you had quite some success with your band Satyricon and your label Moonfog over the last years, but aren't you pushing the limits a little bit too far now? Haven't you overdone it with your latest release and the revamping of the imagery aka looks? These glasses remind me on Paris Hilton. Do you want to reach for her levels, Satyr? Anyway, the black metal community is tolerating bands like Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and all their clones in some respect and even Darkthrone has still some credibility left, but the overall progression of the established bands is still disturbing; it leaves the fans at the mercy of hilarious satanic underground black metal wankery and successful sell-out piteousness.

Black Crow on a Tombstone would be a track of your latest opus magnum and one aspect is for certain: the quality of the whole concept has deteriorated. There is this Arjen Anthony Lucassen blandness surrounding this song, due to the obvious reference to the well-known movie The Crow. How shallow the quality of the lyrics is, how little you offer and explore the vastness of the character of this bird is revealed by a short glance on the literature. Poe, even though it was directed towards a raven, surrounded this species with some kind of mystery and mysticism, while you, Satyr, present it without depth and facets. Where are the nice metaphors and concept gone?

Yet, when listening to the song, then the reasons for the aforementioned loophole in the concept become obvious: the song-writing is so heavily focussed on repetition and catchiness that there is simply little room for presenting the listener a wide array of ideas and impressions. Black Crow on a Tombstone is one more step further away from the black metal you have started with and towards some mainstream rock star imagery and the leather west worn by you during in the video for this track is very appropriate to reflect this progression. Nattefrost is the wanna-be elite musician of the underground, while you feel comfortable in a similar role in the more artsy and serious music scene; a better and direct description would be the term mainstream. Somehow is this track drowned in the odour of artsy pretentiousness, music for the self-proclaimed connoisseur and his butt-buddies; narcissists -- as you are one, too, Satyr -- of a kind that would place discussions in their private library room, sipping red wine and waiting for the butler to give them a hand job.

This one song basically consists of black metal of a strange fashion as it is too much focussed on the breaks and the chorus line. It continues the approach of the preceding album Now, Diabolical, but with overdoing it in terms of the flow of the music. Actually, the break beginning around 1:40 is odd and sounds horribly displaced and kills the entire atmosphere that was build up before. Somehow it sounds like a filler, to avoid any further elaboration of the song's theme or to use its dynamics to push it even more. While the pre- as well as the succeeding parts are quite catchy, the middle one offers the listener nothing except some instrument wankery whose solely purpose might be to give Frost at least some partial appearance; Satyr, you are all over this release, just like a rock star. Black Crow on a Tombstone could have been so much better with some additional length, complexity and variation of the motives respectively ideas. Yet, all of these areas remain unexplored and Satyricon went the safe path into radio friendly commercialism, because this track cannot be described otherwise.

Well, Satyr, where will the road lead Satyricon to? Even less complex songs? More commercial and easily listenable as well as pretentious music? Most certainly, due to the success you have with this attempt. To black metal fans hardly a recommendation can hardly be given, because "Black Crow on a Tombstone" is not of a quality that is able to fascinate over a longer period of time.

With no hopes of hearing better music from you soon,