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War Drums, Evil Sounds, Chicks Moaning: Awesome - 83%

WinterBliss, May 30th, 2009

Well for starters, Black Winds sounds a lot like the first two tracks of Darkthrone's A Blaze in the Northern Sky... A LOT like it, and seeing that they're dudes in the same circle and this came out a year later I wonder if Darkthrone ever had anything to say about this.

Moving on, Satyricon's demo boasts a surprisingly excellent production. The drums are full and alive (although Frost is nothing here compared to what he plays with 1349 and mid era Satyricon). Satyr's vocals actually sound evil and don't sound monotone and annoying like they do after The Shadowthrone. The guitars have this cool hazy/thin tone to them, something that I can't recall elsewhere.

As for the music? Well if you Like "Kathaarian Life Code" and "In the Shadow of the Horns" a lot like I do, then you'll enjoy "Black Winds." Catchy riffs with a sense of groove at times. I can ignore the "similarities" 'cause this genuinely kicks ass. "The Forest is my Throne" has a cool beginning (lightning's always cool) and is pretty damn good and still maintains that Darkthronesque vibe of headbangablity; where the song does stray is the unsuspecting and foreboding snyth that gets interjected somewhere along the middle. The haunting choir, cheesy, but cool, put together with a cool break in the drums and bass create a chilling atmosphere which explodes into a blast beat. It's cool to see Satyricon making genuinely interesting music, even making a chilling atmosphere. "Min Hyllest Til Vinterland" is a throw away, nothing's worse then a song of wind and acoustic guitars then a song with wind and boring acoustic guitars; I can see why Satyr stayed away from guitar on this release, and allowed others to play solos down the line.

"The Night Of The Triumphator" (making up words is not cool unless you're Lovecraft) starts with a clip of two girls moaning. The only reason why the intro is cool because you hear the guitars squeak and feedback as the player gets ready. This song showcases a very Celtic Frost style beat, as well as a riff from Mayhem's Deathcrush (listen at 1:46) and some cool riffs that don't really seem to Satyriconesque (3:02-5:00), this is probably due to the dude who's actually playing the guitar, Lemarchand (played in Ulver I believe).

Having not listened to this for roughly four years it's funny to come back to it and realize how unoriginal Satyricon were. More then half the riffs on this demo feel like they belong to other bands, notably Darkthrone, Mayhem, Celtic Frost. Despite the unoriginality, and the lame acoustic track I really like this demo. Satyr's vocals actually sound evil and the music itself is executed quite well, not to mention good production for a demo. Worth exploring if Norway's your thing.