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Flawless and beautiful - 100%

BlackMetal213, February 3rd, 2016

"Nemesis Divina" was the first Satyricon album I had ever heard. I specifically remember seeing the music video for "Mother North" and thought it was slightly strange. Nevertheless, the song remained an all time favorite of mine and convinced me to give the rest of the album a listen. This album is often viewed as one of the greatest, most innovative black metal albums ever crafted, and I definitely agree. However, two years after this, Satyricon's musical direction would take a sharp left turn and they would never create music like this anymore. While I enjoy most of what this band has put out, their first three albums will always be their finest work. I have a hard time choosing this or "Dark Medieval Times" as my favorite album as they're both great, as well as "The Shadowthrone".

This album blends beauty with the chaotic nature of the classic Norwegian black metal sound. Songs like "The Dawn of a New Age" (the spoken-word female vocals in the latter half of the song are pretty damn cool) and "Immortality Passion" with their beautiful melodic, clean interludes and the classic "Mother North" truly give this album the right to be considered an essential classic. There is not one track on this album to be skipped. The music, such is the case with most black metal, is not all that technical. However the atmosphere and flow make technicality obsolete. Everything works seamlessly to create a hypnotic, beautiful atmosphere combined with amazing, rich melodies which could actually be described as bright and vivid. The guitars are amazing. As previously stated, I have a hard time choosing a favorite album when it comes to this and "Dark Medieval Times" but as I've said with the aforementioned album, this contains some of Satyricon's greatest guitar work. This can definitely be said about the instrumental closing piece "Transcendental Requiem of Slaves" with it's combination of distorted and clean passages alike. There are some really cool groovy, almost rock-inspired riffs within songs such as "Forhesket" that would eventually dominate Satyricon's sound on albums to come. Also, this song even contains a medieval folk-inspired piano section towards the end which isn't surprising, as Satyricon was definitely influenced by medieval themes during this time.

Satyr's vocal performance is, by this point, instantly recognizable to my ears. He sounds a bit different at this point but not at all in a bad way. He would carry this sound over to the band's following albums. He sounds evil and possessed here and it's really darn cool. I have no complaints about the guy's performance, as it is solid. In fact, I'd say here, on "Nemesis Divina", he gave his best vocal performance throughout Satyricon's entire album catalog.

With its beautiful, colorful, uniquely rich cover art and absolutely classic songs, "Nemesis Divina" will always be a true classic black metal album and remains adored by fans of Satyricon, as well as those who are quite disappointed with their following efforts. Whether you love or hate these guys for "selling out" or whatever, this album is still an amazing listen and I recommend it to any fan of black metal who, for some reason, may have not yet had the pleasure of hearing it.