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Disappointing - 50%

Wizardjoe, September 9th, 2007

Satyr and Frost are playing a dangerous game on this album. After the triumph (in my opinion) that was Volcano, Satyricon have toned it down somewhat- something which is always difficult to appreciate by some and embraced by others. It may have been slightly acceptable if it were their first album, or released by a different band - but, as much as it hurts me to say it - it just isn’t.

The first thing we notice is Frost. Or rather, his apparent absence upon listening to the songs, which causes us to check the booklet to make sure it is actually him - which, apparently, it is. Just listen to 1349’s, Hellfire, and try and tell yourself that it is the same drummer.

Next, the guitar work. After only playing since late 2005, I was quite proud with myself with being able to play the album in its entirety without the use of online tabs. I have since realised, however, that it is no unbelievable feat, even for a relatively new guitarist. But it is quite a fun album to play along to - I’ll give it that much.

Satyr’s traditional raspy, gargled voice saves the album from oblivion. What is disappointing is the almost complete abandoning of keyboards and occasional female vocalist appearance which added quite a nice feel to the otherwise uncompromising Volcano, and for those of you that think it was a disgrace to “true black metal”, I think you have missed the point.

All in all, not a very interesting effort from, though I can see it working well live. Unfortunately, it does not cut it on the recording. Look elsewhere - first to Volcano if you have not already; (I understand it is supposed to be the worst thing they have ever done - but I really disagree).