Audience participation, something that strikes fear into the hearts of many, “Who are you and what do you do? Could you come up on stage for me please?”. Taking this notion in a far more esoteric sense, unlike their pantomime counterparts, Satyricon demand your participation in the spiritual understanding in their brand new album Deep calleth upon Deep. Returning after a four year creative absence, the dynamic duo unveil their latest work of brooding misery.
Wanting the listener to be as much a part of the record as the band themselves, there requires introspection on listening to Deep calleth upon Deep, think of it as a conceptual art form if you like. Opening the record is the fittingly frosty “Midnight Serpent” which ticks all of the relevant Black Metal boxes, tremolo picking aplenty, frog like vocals, its all here in the bucketloads. Yet as Black Metal can sometimes become somewhat same, Satyricon never cease to interest the listener. “The Ghost of Rome” for example following a more simplistic touch of melody in its verse, reminiscent of an almost Sabbath-esque sound, its concise song writing that makes sure each track doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Contrarily there’s the aptly titled “Dissonant” which works with saxophone to deliver some really interesting tones coupled with guitar leads that worm their way into your ears. Not all for experimenting, the doleful guitar tones of “To Your Brethren In The Dark” brings the abyssal element associated with Black Metal, giving the album a sense of flow despite the foot might being taken off the gas. The frostbitten riffs of “Black wings and withering gloom” ensures that we’re back to what we’re used to. With scathing guitar flanked by Frost’s blistering drums it’ll please even the most trve of Black Metal fan.
Creating a symbiosis between NWOBHM and the most obsidian of Black Metal, Satyricon combine elements of two very disparate genres effortlessly. “Burial Rite” for example might have the the trimmings of Black Metal but Satyr’s (dis)harmonious guitar riffs work expertly. Rekindled once more in the albums title track “Deep calleth upon Deep” a simplistic make up utilising classic lead sections that strangely enough had me humming the song all day. Owing perhaps to the recording style as well there’s an element of DIY that Black Metal musicians love to adopt about the album. Despite my reservations about the elitist style of Black Metal that Satyricon most definitely fall into Deep calleth upon Deep remains to be an exciting listen for many reasons. Offering a spiritual experience whilst remaining trve to the black clad roots, Satyricon have created a winner in my frost bitten heart.