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True to the old adage that opposites attract - 90%

kluseba, May 5th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2015, DVD + 2CD, Napalm Records (Limited edition, Digipak, Slipcase)

Satyricon's Live at the Opera is the perfect example that the sum can be greater than its parts.

The Norwegian duo plays numbing black metal with hoarse vocals that are rather spoken than anything else, repetitive riff patterns and a stoic rhythm section that could vary more than it actually does.

The Norwegian National Opera Chorus consists of fifty-five highly talented singers but their regular performances often end up sounding somewhat exchangeable and can get quite nerve-firing after a while due to their theatrical approach.

However, the numbing black metal music and the overwhelming choirs complete each other perfectly and make for a balanced, coherent and fluid release with an appropriate length of thirteen tunes plus a short overture and a total running time just above one and a half hours that never gets boring and is best enjoyed uninterruptedly.

While other metal bands have failed to harmonize with choirs and orchestras because each component ended up burying the other, this unique live show that drew fans from all across the world to Norway sounds like a perfect match. This is true to the old adage that opposites attract. Both sides deserve recognition and respect for having mingled their sounds so organically.

Forget about Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Graveworm and other bands that have tried to combine operatic music with black metal. They might have created respectable records in the past but the collaboration between Satyricon and the Norwegian National Opera Chorus is on a higher level and has achieved remarkable symbiosis. The beauty meets the beast and has created a bastard that brings symphonic extreme metal to the next level without ever sounding pretentious. In a certain way, Satyricon might be the spiritual successor of early Therion and deserves as much credit as Batushka these days. Let's hope the band continues to experiment in that regard and that other extreme metal bands follow its stunning example.

Satyricon med Operakoret - 85%

LefterisK, May 6th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, DVD + 2CD, Indie Recordings (Limited edition, Mediabook)

Live at the Opera is the outcome of Satyricon’s very special, exclusive show at the Oslo Opera House that took place on September of 2013, where the band performed with Norway's 55-strong National Opera Chorus. Those familiar with Satyricon's discography will probably know that this is not the first time they merged these two seemingly different but equally grandiose and captivating musical worlds. Since the beginning the band has drawn on classical influences and has been incorporating classical instruments into their music since 2006, both live and in the studio, including their 2006 shows with the Norwegian Radio Broadcasting Orchestra and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (the latter is briefly featured in 2008’s EP My Skin Is Cold), and with various brass, horn and choir arrangements in Now, Diabolical and The Age of Nero.

Moving on to the album itself, the show starts aggressively with "Now, Diabolical" (preceded by "Voice of Shadows") and "Repined Bastard Nation", and, as the album proceeds on, one can definitely sense the thrilling vibe of the night's performance. As expected some songs lend themselves better to choral enhancement than others, especially songs like "Phoenix," "Den siste", "To the Mountains" and "The Pentagram Burns" which took on a different form that made them more effective and diverse sounding. What’s interesting is that Satyricon presented their usual fierce and intense live show, with the choir only intervening in order to enrich certain sections or vocal lines with their voluminous voices, adding an extra layer of atmosphere. The choir also takes on a primary role, offering a cappella intros, outros or interludes for some songs, forcing these two powerful sounds and widely divergent modes of expression to come together as one. The stage is the place where Satyricon truly unveil themselves. As a live band they are an unstoppable force with tight, flawless playing and a strong, imposing presence. After a thorough walk through Satyricon's blackened art, now given a whole new dimension, the album closes on a high note with the anthemic "Mother North" followed by "K.I.N.G."

As the show took place just one day prior to the release of the (at the time) new self-titled album, it was obvious that the set list would revolve around the newer material. However, I do believe that the addition of songs such as "Walk the Path of Sorrow" or "Hvite Krists død," songs that they still play occasionally on tour, would have made this concert an ideal one. I acknowledge that this particular set list was chosen for good reason and that’s totally acceptable, but I think the material from the first three albums would have worked even better with such a lyrical adaptation, given the classical/folk foundations they already have. It’s a shame that these albums were completely overlooked, with the exception of "Mother North" of course. Nevertheless, Live at the Opera is a worthy addition to the band’s catalog. Released through multiple and strictly limited formats, it captures a unique and monumental live performance in the band's career. Quoting Satyr himself, "It's not a live album. It's a celebration of what Satyricon stands for as a band."

Lefteris Kefalas
http://www.avantgarde-metal.com

Gives post-2000 material a new lease on life! - 89%

sonofsatyr, May 5th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, DVD + 2CD, Indie Recordings (Limited edition, Mediabook)

The night was September 8th,2013 shortly before the official release of their self-titled album Satyricon. The band played a special show with the Norwegian national opera choir to commemorate the occasion. The show itself isn't out of the ordinary for Satyricon as they have flirted with orchestras before however, none have had quite the scope as this live show. In this set we are presented with fourteen songs, though one should take note that the majority of material presented comes from their post-2000 output with the exception of Mother North of course. For a lot of people this may be the difference between buying the album or ignoring it altogether and I urge you to please trust me when I say that, the opera really gives the post-2000 output of Satyricon a fresh new atmosphere that is hard not to appreciate in my opinion.

Production-wise the album as a whole is a well put together package, though I feel the optimum way to experience it would be to play the DVD instead of the dual CD. My reasoning for this is because a lot of dialogue is cut from the CD, hell even the introductory song that plays during the DVD's credits is missing here, as the CD cuts straight into Voice of Shadows. Now, for a lot of you this won't be an issue but for someone who likes to feel immersed while listening to a live album, I want to hear the filler as it makes the recording feel “complete” in a way. However, the package isn't perfect as the quality of the mix does seem to dip and sway here and there as is the case with most live albums of course.

Overall, I am really pleased with Satyricon's Live at the Opera, it does the job well giving newer Satyricon songs a breath of fresh air and a genuine ceremonial feeling. Now what are my personal opinions on the set-list as a whole? For one I have no issues with the songs played, as they translate perfectly with the opera choir. Although, I do feel that if they had time for a 15th song the anthem Hvite Krists Død from “The Shadowthrone” would have been a perfect fit. That's a small nitpick I have though, other than that Live at the Opera is a near perfect example of what can happen when you properly blend metal with classical opera.

So, I must give thanks to Satyricon and the royal Norwegian national opera for this wonderful piece of musical history.

Written by Nick a.k.a sonofsatyr on metal-archives.