Deep Calleth upon Deep

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Moonfog/Napalm, 2017)

Karakter: 5/6

Satyricon cover.jpgI am a tad too late on reviewing this excellent 2017 effort by the ever-unpredictable and awesome Norwegian entitiy that is Satyrion, but better late than never, I reckon. Needless to say, I had high expectations of this eight-track album that is evocatively (and yet cryptically) entitled "Deep Calleth upon Deep". After all, Satyricon have never really let me down. Quite the contrary, in fact. This particular album is a vibrant, dark, and moving affair. Contrasts and dichotomies wrestle within the songs, darkness and despair envelop you, and the entire album feels like a transcendent musical journey along the odd corners of the human psyche. For reasons that I cannot explain, tunes such as the captivating and utterly memorable "To Your Brethren in the Dark", "Black Wings and Withering Gloom", and the title track seem to penetrate the core of one's soul and turn everything inside out. Gripping stuff! On the other hand, muscular compositions such as "Midnight Serpent", "Blood Cracks Open the Ground", and "Burial Rite" are slightly more aggressive and intense due to their sinister riffs and vicius vocals while the atmospheric "The Ghost of Rome" is perhaps the catchiest track on the album. Satyr sounds both menacing and convincing all the way through while Frost never ceases to amaze me by means of his creative and stellar drumming.

There is also a strong and haunting current of melancholy running through the song material this time around, more so than on previous albums. On top of that, it is as if there is a sense of something intimate and introspective present within certain sections, or perhaps that is just due to the way in which certain lyrics and melodies interact with and complement each other. This is a disciplined and structured piece of work and it is downright powerful and grand in scope, but the whole thing feels more passionate and emotionally charged compared to the last few Satyricon outputs. Bleak and yet strangely upifting, "Deep Calleth upon Deep" covers a lot of ground.

On a side note, I also dig the minimalistic artwork ("Doedskyss" by Edvard Munch which dates from 1899) as it enhances and underlines the actual music and lyrics, so as usual nothing has been left to chance when it comes to Satyricon; everything fits together nicely. From a fan 's perspective, there is nothing better than the feeling of having gotten one's filthy paws on the whole package, a gesamtkunstwerk, where eveything is connected and related to each other. Touching on just how superb the musicianship is or how great the production is seems kind of redundant, does it not? I mean, we are talking about Satyrcon here, folks. "Deep Calleth upon Deep" is not only impressive in every sense of the word, but also inspired and inspiring. The way in which these guys manage to spawn music that encompasses and balances feelings of despair and triumph is brilliant. The record might not be as immediate and accessible as its predecessor, but it is infinitely more rewarding in the long run.

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