support Chthonic
author EW date 07/11/13 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

Having proven in the past that their recent offerings work better in the live arena I have been most keen on catching Satyricon again following the recent release of their self-titled album. Continuing with the accessible sound of their post-"Volcano" output this approach has no doubt cost the band a lot of their hardened black metal fanbase but has made for something a little bit different, which as well know, is far more preferable to another band doing the same old Norwegian BM thing.

For this tour the band have Taiwanese chart-botherers Chthonic as the opening act, producing a contrasting pairing to one another but both imbued with similar mindsets of forging new creative paths. Unfortunately travel difficulties meant I could only make it for the last song of Chthonic's set, however I shall bring you the full low-down on their London performance next week. In the meantime, make sure to check out their highly-rated "Bú-Tik" LP from earlier this year.

Freddy Lim of Chthonic


Emerging to the introductory piece "Voice of Shadows" from the new album the band carry an air of grace with this slow and cautious opener that confirms their confidence in the material to pull off such a feat. Interspersed throughout the set are four other new tracks - "Our World, It Rumbles Tonight", "Ageless Northern Spirit", "Nekrohaven" and "The Infinity of Time and Space" although oddly not the fastest track "Walker Upon The Wind" nor the most extraordinary of the lot, "Phoenix" - which do add an extra fire to the belly of some of their more pedestrian moments (take the chorus of "Our World..." for example). I'm not sure these are as consistent in their live prowess as additions to the set from the last few years "Black Crow on a Tombstone", with its shuffling lead riff and excellent section bridges, "Now, Diabolical" and set-closer "K.I.N.G." but the way in which they are paced to induce bouts of headbanging feels in contrast to the energy levels of the album, making their transition in this sense a success.

The delivery of all these tracks from the band is excellent, with a good, albeit slightly, quiet sound in the well-below-full Amager Bio room. Behind the drums Frost remains a hyperactive ball of energy, his sound as recognisable as any drummer out there in metal today and who looked shattered by the conclusion of the set. Considering this is the man who handles 1349's devilishly faster beats I can only assume this is down to the mental exertion he puts himself under to perform so admirably, for he is known to be a very intense man. Out front Satyr has replaced the slicked back hair style of their previous tour for more standard heavy metal locks yet still looks as cool as ever, perched behind his trident microphone and occasionally with guitar in hand. The remaining live session players are less noteworthy but all do a good job at leading by example in the art of headbanging, the first conduit in expecting the crowd to do likewise.

The encore trilogy of "Mother North", "Fuel for Hatred" and "K.I.N.G." make for three very different tracks, neatly encapsulating Satyricon's career trajectory. The orchestral pomp to the opening of "Mother North" and its subsequent despairing vocals still make the hairs stand up even after all this time, it is a true classic, but for me "Fuel For Hatred" is the best live track of the bands' - full of razor sharp guitars and a brilliant breakdown in it's centre. Piled together they show that even if their recorded output has wavered, Satyricon come from black metal's top table and live up to this reputation on the live stage.


All photos by Peter Troest

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